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Business

Senator scrutinizes DowDuPont merger

by Alexander H. Tullo
June 20, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 25

As Dow Chemical and DuPont set July 20 as the date for shareholder votes on their massive, $130 billion merger, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) is calling on the Department of Justice to examine the deal. In a letter to Renata Hesse, principal deputy assistant attorney general for DOJ’s antitrust division, Grassley expresses concern that the transaction would decrease competition in the agricultural chemical and seed sectors and raise barriers for small, innovative firms trying to break into the market. He notes that the Dow-DuPont deal is part of a larger consolidation wave that includes ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta and Bayer’s bid for Monsanto. “I urge the antitrust division to conduct careful analysis of this proposed transaction to ensure that a competitive market in the agricultural biotechnology and seed industry is not impacted,” he writes. Earlier this year, Grassley expressed concern that jobs would leave Iowa, where DuPont’s Pioneer seed business is headquartered, and threatened antitrust hearings. Dow and DuPont later pledged to keep a business and R&D center in the state.

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