Investigations & Cases
Crop Protection Products Loyalty Program Antitrust Litigation
Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C., Roberts Law Firm, Cohen & Malad, and Preti Flaherty filed an antitrust lawsuit on behalf of farmers against pesticide manufacturers Syngenta, Corteva, BASF, and distributors and retailers Nutrien AG Solutions and Helena Agri-Enterprises on November 17, 2022, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
- CASE STATUS Active
- DATE FILED November 17, 2022
- CASE NUMBER 1:22-cv-02226
- DEFENDANTS Syngenta; Corteva; BASF; Nutrien; Helena Agri-Enterprises
- COURT Southern District of Indiana
Shelby Farms, LLC, Hanna Farms, LLC, Choctaw Farms, LLC and G&P Farms Partnership v. Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Syngenta Corporation; Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC; Corteva, Inc.; BASF SE; BASF Corporation, BASF Agricultural Products Group; Nutrien AG Solutions, Inc.; Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC; and Doe Co-Conspirator Distributors and Retailers 1-200
Plaintiffs allege that Syngenta, Corteva, and BASF each developed and implemented programs that provided so-called “loyalty” payments to distributors and retailers, but only if the distributors and retailers limited the amounts of competing manufacturers’ products they would sell. In their complaint, Plaintiffs allege that Syngenta, Corteva, and BASF used the programs to extend their patent monopolies after patent protection had expired and generic competition could enter the market. However, as alleged in the complaint, the programs effectively eliminated the primary point of market entry for generic products—the major pesticides distributors and retailers.
According to the complaint’s allegations, the purpose and effect of the programs was to exclude to a material extent generic competition from the market (generic products are usually less expensive than branded products and their presence in the market has the effect of lowering prices) allowing Syngenta, Corteva, and BASF to artificially maintain high prices for certain pesticides after patent expiration. The complaint alleges that farmers like the plaintiffs end up paying more for the pesticides than they would in a market unaffected by the programs.
The pesticides listed in the complaint for Syngenta are products that contain metolachlor and S-metolachlor, mesotrione, fomesafen, azoxystrobin, paraquat, and lambadge cyhalothrin.
The pesticides listed in the complaint for Corteva are products that contain oxamyl, rimsulfuron, and acetochlor.
The pesticides listed in the complaint for BASF are products that contain boscalid, glufosinate ammonium, imazomoz, and pendimethalin.
The Federal Trade Commission and ten states also filed a lawsuit against Syngenta and Corteva alleging that their loyalty programs violate federal and state antitrust laws.
You can read the complaint (PDF) here.
Please contact William Hoese, Steve Schwartz, Doug Abrahams, or Craig Hillwig if you have any questions about the lawsuit or fill out the form below.
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