AAI, FWW, and NFU Say Monsanto-Bayer Merger Raises Competitive Concerns Over Traits-Seeds-Chemicals Platforms, Digital Farming, and Strategic Competitive Use of Farm Data

Today AAI, FWW, and NFU sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the proposed merger of Monsanto and Bayer. The joint letter is an addendum to a letter submitted by the three organizations on July 26th. It discusses the merger’s potential to enhance the ability and incentive for Monsanto and Bayer to integrate traits, seeds, and chemicals into proprietary systems or platforms that are closed to competition. The companies’ combined digital farming capabilities will likely facilitate such integration. Together with strengthened incentives for the appropriation and strategic competitive use of vast stores of farm data, these merger- related concerns have potentially adverse implications for competition, farmers, and consumers.