U.S. ends antitrust probe of seed industry: Monsanto

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 17, 2012 10:33 AM

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has ended an antitrust investigation into Monsanto Co's soybean genetic traits business and the seed industry, the company said.

The DOJ had demanded information in January 2010 from Monsanto on the company's soybean genetic trait business after complaints that Monsanto was trying to limit access to push a new, pricier product instead.

Monsanto at the time said it would allow farmers and seed companies continued access to its first-generation Roundup Ready soybean trait, a genetic alteration that makes soybeans tolerate herbicide treatments, after the product's patent expired in 2014.

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The global agribusiness group said in a statement that it had cooperated fully with the DOJ in its investigation and that it has received written notification that the inquiry was concluded.

(Reporting By Susan Kelly in Chicago; Editing by Eric Walsh)