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US: Gov files antitrust suit against Deere and Monsanto

 |  August 31, 2016

The Justice Department on Wednesday filed a lawsuit challenging Deere & Co.’s planned acquisition of a line of high-tech farming equipment from Monsanto Co., saying the deal would suppress competition for technology that allows farmers to plant crops at higher speeds.

At issue is a deal from last November in which Deere said it agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to buy Monsanto’s Precision Planting equipment business.

The Justice Department said Monsanto’s equipment line had been a leading innovator in high-speed planting technology, with Deere as its only significant competitor.

“If this deal were allowed to proceed, Deere would dominate the market for high-speed precision planting systems and be able to raise prices and slow innovation at the expense of American farmers who rely on these systems,” said Renata Hesse, the acting head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

The department filed the lawsuit in an Illinois federal court, asking a judge to block the deal.

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

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