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Monsanto may have no problem defeating anti-trust claims

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They’ve been called “the most evil company in the world” and “protected by the prince of darkness” in publications that aren’t known for sensationalism or conspiracy theories. Then again, Monsanto has had a knack for escaping bad publicity in ways that would make any politician either jealous or terrified. Their latest hurdles may turn out to be minor.

The company is planning on a merger with Syngenta, the number 3 producer worldwide of agricultural seeds. This would seem on the surface to be an easy anti-trust case to prove, but skeptics are already pointing to the notion that they may have nothing to worry about at the end:

“Although MON is global #1 in seeds and Syngenta #3, Syngenta’s mkt share is relatively small at c8% vs. c25% for MON. Even if there would undoubtedly be some antitrust issues in some countries/regions for some crops (seeds is a regional market), we note Syngenta’s seeds business is currently perceived as the weak spot‚ ‘stained’ by recent problems in its US corn business. Therefore, if some of Syngenta’s seeds assets had to be divested as a pre requisite for a deal, we don’t think the market would see it as a problem.”

This wouldn’t be the first time that Monsanto was able to beat an anti-trust charge. They have somehow been able to bend the rules in their favor to avoid government intervention when even the most basic understanding of the laws would point to slam-dunk cases:

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice dropped its investigation into alleged practices that would eliminate competition. That same year, multiple states led by the State of Iowa closed a five-year probe into the company to see if it violated antitrust laws, and no action was taken against Monsanto at that time, according to Reuters.

If they can make this happen, this would further improve their level of domination that is similar in scope to Google’s domination over search. The difference here is that Google became dominant through quality rather than the techniques and acquisitions that Monsanto has been accused of using.

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