JBS purchases under scrutiny

7 April 2008

According to Meatingplace.com, , a Justice Department official has said that the JBS purchase of two of their US competitors does not necessarily constitute a violation of the nation's antitrust laws.

Although the JBS acquisitions would further consolidate an already-concentrated beef processing sector, Douglas Ross, special counsel for agriculture in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, told participants at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Spring Legislative Conference that specific evidence is required to prove the acquisitions will reduce competition in the marketplace. NCBA, other organizations and legislators have raised anticompetitive concerns about the pending JBS purchases of Smithfield Beef Group and National Beef Packing Co, a move that would combine the nation's third, fourth and fifth-largest beef processors. Ross encouraged cattlemen to voice their concerns. ‘We listen carefully to the concerns of agricultural producers and producer groups as to how a proposed merger or course of conduct might affect you', NCBA quoted Ross as saying.

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