Merger Enforcement in U.S. Food Markets

During the Obama Administration, the U.S. competition authorities have made food and agriculture a priority for antitrust enforcement. These efforts, undertaken by both the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission, have concentrated primarily on preventing anticompetitive harm to buyers and sellers in food industries through merger enforcement mechanisms. While antitrust authorities can, and have, investigated other anticompetitive conduct such as price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation, recent enforcement actions have made clear that mergers are of primary importance in the agricultural space.

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