Senator Chuck Grassley sent a letter to the new Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division at the Justice Department, Christine Varney, after she reportedly made promising comments about putting more focus on competition in agriculture. Grassley's letter asks how the antitrust division will increase antitrust oversight and enforcement of mergers, acquisitions and business practices in the agriculture sector.
"For more than a decade, I've expressed strong reservations about specific agri-business mergers and the continued "bigger is better" trend in agriculture. The agriculture industry has consolidated to the point where family farmers, independent producers and other smaller market participants do not have equal access to fair and competitive markets," Grassley said. "It's also a lot easier for large companies to engage in anti-competitive and predatory business behavior."
Grassley has been concerned that increased concentration in the agriculture industry will lead to fewer product choices and higher product prices for the American consumer. In his press release, he says it's important that vigilant antitrust enforcers look to protect consumers and ensure there is a fair and open marketplace for all.
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, editor Beef Today.