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Senator questions pending mergers in chemical, seed industries

by Britt E. Erickson
August 29, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 34

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is raising concerns about the sudden rise in mergers within the chemical and seed industries. Increasing consolidation between the two industries could lead to higher costs for farmers dealing with “an already declining agriculture economy,” Grassley says. Earlier this month, Grassley sent a letter to officials at the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, urging them to collaborate on government reviews of proposed mergers when appropriate. “Department of Justice has been tasked with reviewing the Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. merger, while the Federal Trade Commission has been charged with reviewing the acquisition of Syngenta AG by China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina),” Grassley notes in the letter. “If the two agencies look at the transactions in a vacuum, the industry impact may seem more minor than it actually could be,” he writes. Grassley has scheduled a hearing in late September to focus on mergers within the chemical and seed industries that are under review by antitrust regulators. The hearing will also consider trends in consolidation of the two industries.


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