Please Comment on New Proposed Rules

This is your chance to make your voice heard on the new proposed rules that aim to stop corporate mega-mergers that hurt competition and create monopoly control.

See talking points and how to submit comments below!

One thing we know: concentrated economic power creates concentrated political power, allowing giant corporations to invest growing sums of money into influencing our government and tilting laws and rules in their favor at our expense.

Over the last 4 decades, multinational corporations have unconstitutionally amassed undue influence over the U.S. economy, stifling competition in markets and harming: farmers, workers, consumers, customer choice, sellers, small and minority-owned businesses (including farms and ranches), local, rural, and limited-income communities, communities of color, privacy, quality, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

And, especially witnessed since the pandemic, monopolistic corporations and centralized and concentrated markets expose consumers to the risks of concentrated and brittle supply chains, such as shortages of essential goods and increased prices.

Please comment on new proposed rules that aim to stop corporate mega-mergers that hurt competition and create monopoly control

*We’ve done our best too make the process easy and less time consuming. Please see how to make your comment and talking points below!

On April 21st, 2022, MRCC, with our allies within the Campaign for Family Farms & the Environment, sent a letter to Lina Khan, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Jonathan Kanter, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), asking them to drastically strengthen their rules and their ability to challenge and prohibit the mergers of large corporations.

On July 19th of this year, following from President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, the White House responded and announced proposed new guidelines for the FTC and DOJ on corporate mergers that could negatively impact competition.

We’ve been demanding this policy change for literally decades.

Please take a minute and send your comments in showing your support for these updated, strengthened and needed merger guidelines!

* The comment period on these new merger guidelines runs through September 18th.

Talking Points:

  • I support the proposed draft merger guidelines. They are an important and necessary first step in challenging the current and extreme concentration in U.S. food and agricultural markets.
  • The issue of consolidation in agriculture markets is at the center of most of the challenges U.S. and Missouri family farmers face as they struggle to maintain economically viable farming operations.
  • Consolidation raises input costs for farmers, reduces farmgate price for crops and livestock, restricts consumer choice and contributes to a widening farm to retail price spread.
  • The economic extraction caused by the control of most food markets by a handful of companies is clearly evident right now as consumers experience rapid price inflation for many food products, prices paid to farmers fail to increase at a comparable rate, if at all, and many food companies report record profits.
  • Monopoly control of markets is a threat to our fight for representative democracy. When too much economic and political power is concentrated in too few hands, we risk losing the “republican form of government” the Constitution requires.
  • It is widely recognized that the food and agriculture markets are already highly concentrated. For example:
    • 4 pork meatpackers control over 70% of the pork market: Smithfield (China), JBS (Brazil), Tyson and Hormel. Smithfield and JBS alone control 50% of the U.S. pork industry.
    • 4 beef meatpackers control over 80% of the beef market: JBS, Cargill, Marfrig and Tyson.
    • Three mergers in 2017 and 2018 merged six large seed and chemical companies into four: BASF, Bayer/Monsanto, Corteva and ChemChina/Syngenta.
    • Walmart, Kroger, Costco and Albertsons control 70% of the retail food market. Right now, Kroger and Albertsons are attempting to merge, and, if allowed, Walmart and Kroger/ Albertsons would control over 55% of the food retail market and 70% of the market would be controlled by just 3 corporations.
  • When there are only a handful of buyers or sellers in a market, it results in a lack of options and lower prices for independent family farmers, higher prices for their supplies and higher prices for consumers.
  • Decades of increasing consolidation in every sector of the food system have resulted in extreme levels of control by just a handful of players in each market, with devastating consequences for farmers, rural communities, public health and the environment, and the ability of supply chains to bounce back quickly from a shock.
  • There is no segment of the agriculture or food supply chain that does not have an excessive level of concentration, from inputs to grocery retail, including processing, shipping and final product distribution.
  • When fewer farms produce more of our food, the environment, public health, and rural communities suffer, in addition to individual farm families who struggle to access markets that are competitive enough to pay a fair price.

Read the White House Fact Sheet Here: