Archives: Agriculture

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THE LATEST: Entanglements and Concentrated Markets Require Divestiture in the Dairy Industry

On July 6, 2016, Danone S.A. (Danone) agreed to acquire The WhiteWave Foods Company (WhiteWave) for $12.5 billion. WhiteWave is the leading manufacturer of fluid organic milk in the United States and one of the top purchasers of raw organic milk. Danone is the leading US manufacturer of organic yogurt (Stonyfield). Nearly 90 percent of … Continue Reading

THE LATEST: Further Efforts to Broaden the Scope and Impact for CFIUS Reviews of Foreign Acquisitions of US Businesses

We reported earlier on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and its legal and practical authority to review M&A transactions for possible risks to US national security posed by foreign ownership of a US business. Sens. Cornyn (R-TX) and Schumer (D-NY) reportedly are working separately on legislation to strengthen CFIUS, which … Continue Reading

Mushroom Growers Denied Capper-Volstead Antitrust Immunity

On October 14, 2014, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a motion for reconsideration brought by members and affiliates of the former Eastern Mushroom Marketing Cooperative (EMMC).  In re Mushroom Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litig., No. 06-0620 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 14, 2014).  In 2009, the court denied defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment, which argued that … Continue Reading

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Cotton Traders’ § 1 Claims Under Copperweld

On September 30, 2014, the Southern District of New York reconsidered the Commodities Exchange Act (CEA) and Sherman Act claims brought against Louis Dreyfus Commodities B.V. and its affiliates in In re Term Commodities Cotton Futures Litigation, 12 Civ. 5126 (ALC)(KNF) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2014).  The plaintiffs, cotton futures traders, alleged that the defendants manipulated … Continue Reading

Egg Producer Agrees to Pay $28 Million to Settle Price-Fixing Claims

by Nicole Castle On July 23, 2013, Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the largest producer of fresh shell eggs in the U.S., announced that it had agreed to pay $28 million to settlement the direct purchaser claims brought by plaintiffs in In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, 08-cv-2002 (E.D. Pa.).  The direct purchaser plaintiffs alleged that … Continue Reading

Patent Exhaustion Rejected: Patented Seed Purchaser Has No Right to Make Copies

by Paul Devinsky, Cynthia Chen and Lincoln Mayer The Supreme Court in Bowman v. Monsanto Co. ruled unanimously that a farmer’s replanting of harvested seeds constituted making new infringing articles. While the case is important for agricultural industries, the Supreme Court cautioned that its decision is limited to the facts of the Bowman case and … Continue Reading

Potato Price-Fixing Case Survives Motion to Dismiss Holds That Pre-Production Agricultural Output Restrictions Are Not Exempt Under Capper-Volstead

by Gregory E. Heltzer and Nicole Castle On December 2, 2011, a federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation involving an alleged potato price-fixing conspiracy denied a motion to dismiss the antitrust conspiracy claims despite the potato grower cooperatives asserting that the concerted action was permissible under the Capper-Volstead Act.  In Re: Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation, … Continue Reading

Antitrust Agriculture Update: Mushroom Grower Direct Purchaser Litigation

by Lincoln Mayer and Gregory E. Heltzer On August 23, the Third Circuit denied interlocutory review of an order from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which held that defendant mushroom growers were "not a proper agricultural cooperative under the Capper-Volstead Act because one of its members was not technically a grower of agricultural produce."  In … Continue Reading

Poultry Merger Challenge

by Gregory E. Heltzer and Carrie G. Amezcua On May 10, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil lawsuit against George’s Inc. to block its $3M acquisition of Tyson  Foods Inc.’s, Harrisonburg, Virginia chicken processing plant, showing that deals of all sizes face scrutiny.  This case also continues the trend of challenges to non-reportable … Continue Reading

Proposed GIPSA Rule

by Carrie G. Amezcua Earlier this week, The Tribune (Greely, Colorado) published the article below discussing proposed changes to livestock marketing rules.  The article discusses the pros and cons of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration proposed rule – commonly referred to as the GIPSA rule.   "New rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm … Continue Reading

Antitrust and Agriculture: Summary of DOJ/USDA Workshops and New Article on Capper-Volstead

by Greg E. Heltzer, Carrie G. Amezcua and Jennifer L. Westbrook The DOJ and USDA just completed a series of five workshops on competition in the agriculture industry.  The two agencies have a renewed their focus on competition in this industry and have promised more activity in this area.  The highlights from each of the … Continue Reading
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