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Nebraska Joins Price-Fixing Against Pesticide Companies

 |  October 3, 2022

Nebraska has joined a lawsuit accusing pesticide companies Syngenta and Corteva of anti-competitive practices that have cost farmers.

Nebraska joined the Federal Trade Commission and nine other states, including Iowa, in a complaint that was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on Thursday. Both companies denied the allegations.

The complaint alleges that U.S. farmers have collectively lost millions of dollars because Syngenta and Corteva have unfairly impeded their generic competitors and artificially inflated prices.

The companies artificially inflated prices by creating “loyalty programs” with pesticide distributors that have made it harder for farmers to access lower-priced generic products, the lawsuit alleges.

While generic companies are allowed to enter the market using the same active ingredients after patent-related exclusivity protections expire, the lawsuit alleges that Syngenta and Corteva made incentive payments to pesticide distributors in exchange for distributors to not buy or buy significantly lower amounts of generic products. Through deals with distributors, the two companies essentially created a monopoly on sales of certain pesticides, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges that Syngenta and Corteva broke multiple state and federal laws, including the FTC Act and the Clayton Act. Nebraska specifically accuses the companies of violating the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit asks for monetary relief, including for farmers in Nebraska, according to State Attorney General Doug Peterson. The suit also seeks an end to the “loyalty programs.”

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