The Justice Department Tries to Block Deere, Monsanto Deal

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Wednesday trying to challenge the planned acquisition of a line of high-tech farming equipment from Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) by Deere & Company (NYSE: DE). The equipment in question allows farmers to plant crops at higher speeds.

The lawsuit is explained by the Justice Department as an attempt to prevent a monopoly. Monsanto’s equipment line is leading in the high-speed planting technology market, and the only competitor is Deere.

Renata Hesse, the acting head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division said, “If this deal were allowed to proceed, Deere would dominate the market for high-speed precision planting systems and be able to raise prices and slow innovation at the expense of American farmers who rely on these systems,”

Deere in response was trying to defend the acquisition decision, claiming that the company will “preserve Precision Planting’s independence to ensure innovation and speed-to-market.”

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