BILLINGS, Mont., Oct. 2, 2023 – Last week, R-CALF USA, in conjunction with anti-monopoly advocacy group Farm Action, submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in support of its premerger rule proposal.
The proposal would improve the premerger notification rules by implementing the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act, an amendment to the Clayton Act that requires companies to file premerger notifications with the FTC and the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. The proposal would also strengthen the Premerger Notification and Report Form and Instructions.
In the comments, R-CALF USA and Farm Action identified that the agriculture sector has become dominated by consolidated oligopolies. Amplifying the need for a correction, they particularly emphasized several changes that would help curtail harmful agricultural consolidation.
The comments explain the groups’ support of the FTC’s proposal to:
- Collect more comprehensive information concerning the entities merging and the structure of the proposed transactions.
- Require disclosure of more information and documentation of the strategic rationale for given transactions.
- Require disclosure of more information concerning competition and overlaps of the merging parties.
- Expand street-level reporting of entities’ geographic operations to include various agricultural markets.
- Expand information collected concerning merging parties’ prior acquisitions.
“After decades of lax antitrust enforcement, consolidation is evident across all stages of food system production, with no signs of slowing down, greatly harming competition and directly impacting American farmers, ranchers, and consumers.” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. “R-CALF USA strongly supports the FTC in making these important changes to HSR forms, and we encourage them to quickly adopt these proposed changes.”