State Files Massive Antitrust Suit Against 2 Pesticide Companies
Monday, December 27th, WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the state has joined with 12 others and the Federal Trade Commission in an anti-trust lawsuit against two major pesticide firms.
Syngenta and Corteva were named in the lawsuit
With the huge impact agriculture has in our region, this will certainly get a lot of attention.
Ferguson's office released information stating the two companies are accused of colluding to try to exclude or shut out generic versions of their products.
In the lawsuit filed in US District Court in North Carolina, the states and the Federal Trade Commission made this claim, according to Ferguson:
"The lawsuit asserts the companies established a “loyalty program” with their distributors, where the distributors are only paid if they limit their business with competing manufacturers, in violation of federal antitrust laws."
According to the suit, over the five-year period from 2017, to 2022, the two companies sold over $48 million in products to Washington ag producers.
The WA AG's office says:
"...pesticide producers that develop new active ingredients can patent those ingredients for a period of time, and produce them exclusively. After that period, other companies can produce a generic version of that product, ensuring competition and driving costs down.
According to the complaint, Syngenta and Corteva worked to illegally circumvent this process. The companies use “loyalty” programs to make payments to distributors, as long as the distributors keep their business with competitors below a very low threshold. "
No mention was made of what damages or compensation is being sought yet in the case.
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