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US: Grassley presses Justice Department on JBS-Cargill merger

 |  July 29, 2015

US Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, sent a letter July 27 to the US Department of Justice pressing the Antitrust Division to review JBS USA’s proposed acquisition of Cargill Inc.’s pork unit.

Grassley expressed concern that the merger will increase concentration and decrease competition in the US pork industry.

“Continued mergers and acquisitions in an already consolidated pork industry could reduce competition. And, reduced marketing opportunities for farmers and independent producers, and the subsequent impact it could have on pork prices for consumers is of great concern,” said Grassley.

JBS USA and Cargill Inc. are currently the third and fourth largest U.S. pork processors respectively. If the transaction is finalized, JBS USA will become the second largest pork processor behind Smithfield, with a daily slaughter capacity of around 83,000 head. This equates to nearly 20% of U.S. daily pork processing capacity, Grassley said.

Full content: Heartland Connection

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