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FTC Sues Syngenta, Corteva Over Pay-To-Block Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission and a group of 10 state attorneys general filed a complaint in federal court against pesticide makers Syngenta Crop Protection and Corteva. The complaint accuses the manufacturers of allegedly paying distributors to block competitors from selling their cheaper generic products to farmers.

The complaint says the firms run “loyalty programs” in which distributors only get paid if they limit business with competing manufacturers. Cutting off the competition allowed the defendants to inflate their prices and force American farmers to spend millions of dollars more on their products.

The complaint seeks to shut down the illegal pay-to-block scheme and restore competition to affected markets. “The FTC is suing to stop Syngenta and Corteva from maintaining their monopolies through harmful tactics that have jacked up pesticide prices for farmers,” says FTC Chair Lina Khan. “By paying to block generic producers from the market, these companies deprived farmers of cheaper options.”