antitrust@locklaw.com (612) 339-6900

Crop Inputs Antitrust Litigation

SUMMARY

On January 26, 2021, the antitrust team at Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., along with the team at Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese P.C., filed an antitrust class action lawsuit on behalf of our client and purchasers of Crop Inputs (seeds and crop protection chemicals, such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides, used by farmers). The lawsuit alleges anticompetitive conduct by major Crop Inputs manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, by, among other things, jointly boycotting companies that would have introduced lower prices of Crop Inputs through online sales. As a result of the anticompetitive conduct, purchasers, such as American farmers, have paid artificially high prices for Crop Inputs.

Background

The market for Crop Inputs is dominated by four major manufacturers (Bayer CropScience Inc., Corteva Inc., Syngenta Corp., and BASF Corp.), three large wholesalers that control the distribution of Crop Inputs to purchasers (Cargill Inc., Winfield Solutions, LLC, and Univar Solutions, Inc.), and retailers (including CHS Inc., Nutrien Ag Solutions Inc., GROWMARK, Inc., Simplot AB Retail Sub, Tenkoz Inc., and Federated Co-operatives Ltd.). The existing distribution and sale process for Crop Inputs is structured to maximize opacity and deny purchasers access to objective pricing data and product information needed to make informed purchasing decisions about the Crop Inputs.

Recently, electronic Crop Inputs sales platforms have launched to provide a cheaper and more transparent way for purchasers to buy Crop Inputs, and circumvent the existing opaque and convoluted distribution system. These electronic platforms threaten the manufacturers’, wholesalers’, and retailers’ dominant market position and control over Crop Inputs pricing. This lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers conspired to block the electronic platforms’ access to the Crop Inputs market by engaging in group boycott to deny the electronic platforms of products to sell.

Were you affected by the alleged Crop Inputs conspiracy?

You may have overpaid if you purchased a Crop Input between 2014 and today, and the Crop Input was manufactured by any of the following companies: Bayer CropScience Inc., Corteva Inc., Syngenta Corp., or BASF Corp.

CONTACT

If you would like to discuss your legal options, please contact Joe Bruckner (wjbruckner@locklaw.com), Rob Shelquist (rkshelquist@locklaw.com), Brian Clark (bdclark@locklaw.com), or Rebecca Peterson (rapeterson@locklaw.com), or at 612-339-6900.

ARTICLES & DOCUMENTS

01-26-2021
Class Action Complaint