Syngenta/Corteva Pesticide Investigation
Syngenta and Corteva manufacture, among other things, certain active ingredients for pesticides. On September 29, 2022, following an investigation, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and several state attorneys general filed a complaint against Syngenta and Corteva relating to products containing Syngenta and Corteva’s active ingredients.
The FTC’s complaint accuses Syngenta and Corteva of designing and enforcing “loyalty programs” with distributors and retailers of pesticides. Under these loyalty programs, Syngenta and Corteva reward distributors and retailers for marketing and distributing their products—on the condition that those distributors and retailers will limit their sales of competing, lower-priced, generic products. As a result, generic products are prevented from entering the market, and farmers are left to pay for higher-priced Syngenta and Corteva products.
The FTC found that, through these loyalty programs, Syngenta and Corteva have restrained trade and maintained an illegal monopoly in the markets for products containing three of Syngenta’s active ingredients and three of Corteva’s active ingredients. The complaint alleges that farmers may have paid many millions of dollars in overcharges for these products.
The FTC complaint and a summary of their case is available here: https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/cases-proceedings/191-0031-syngenta-corteva-ftc-v.
The relevant products are crop protection products that contain the following active ingredients:
- Azoxystrobin: a Syngenta fungicide used to protect a wide variety of crops from fungal diseases.
- Mesotrione: a Syngenta corn herbicide.
- Metolachlor: a Syngenta herbicide used on crops, including corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, cotton, peanuts, potatoes, vegetables, sunflowers, and sugarbeets.
- Rimsulfuron: a Corteva herbicide used on crops, including fruit, tree nuts, potatoes, corn, soybeans, peanuts, and tomatoes.
- Oxamyl: a Corteva insecticide and nematicide used on crops, including cotton, potatoes, onions, apples, citrus fruits, pears, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and tobacco.
- Acetochlor: a Corteva and Bayer herbicide used on crops, including corn, cotton, soybeans, sunflowers, peanuts, potatoes, and sugarcane.