FTC and State AG Coalition Sue Syngenta, Corteva Over Alleged Generic Competitor Blocking

  • The FTC and a bipartisan coalition of AGs from ten states sued pesticide manufacturers Syngenta Crop Protection and Corteva, Inc. over allegations that the companies paid distributors to block competitors from selling cheaper generic versions of their products to farmers, in violation of the Clayton Act, the FTC Act, the Sherman Act, and state consumer protection and competition laws.
  • According to the complaint, after patent protection for their products had expired, the two companies set up “loyalty programs” for distributors with respect to six crop-protection active ingredients, in which the distributors received compensation for keeping purchases of competing generic pesticides beneath a low specified percentage threshold. This scheme allegedly allowed the two companies to limit competition and charge higher prices, which were passed along to farmers and ultimately consumers, and also suppressed innovation in the pesticide market.
  • The complaint seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties, among other things.