Senators Commit to Oversight of Consolidation in Agri-Chem Industry

Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (R-MN), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) issued the following statements in response to press reports of a potential merger between Bayer and Monsanto.

The $62 billion deal, which would combine two of the largest companies in crop sciences and agricultural chemicals, comes in the wake of proposed mergers between Dow and DuPont and ChemChina and Syngenta.

“The accelerating trend of consolidation in the agricultural space should be of deep concern to American consumers, touching as it does on the competitiveness of the industry that provides most of our nation’s food,” said Lee. “As Chairman of the Antitrust Subcommittee, I will be undertaking close oversight of these deals and the antitrust enforcement agencies’ review of them to ensure that competition remains vibrant in one of the largest and most important sectors of the American economy.”

“The current wave of consolidations across our economy raises many concerns for American consumers and why I have fought—and will continue to fight— hard to promote competition across all sectors and industries,” said Klobuchar. “As Ranking Member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, I take seriously my responsibility to provide oversight over potential consolidations and to ensure that antitrust laws are vigorously enforced to protect competition.”

“For some time, concerns have been raised that the recent proposed seed company mergers could create a domino effect and consolidate the industry,” said Grassley. “The Bayer-Monsanto talks only heighten the possibility that the industry, farmers and consumers could be adversely impacted by this consolidation trend.  The Justice Department’s role to ensure a competitive marketplace is even more critical as it studies how these proposed deals play into the big picture in the seed and chemical industry.  I’ll be watching closely for any developments that may negatively impact Iowa farmers and consumers.”