September 29, 2006 Agronomy

Federal Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Monsanto Illegally Maintained Glyphosate Monopoly

Plaintiffs say company unfairly dominates market years after Roundup patent expired.


The Monsanto Company is the target of a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed this week in federal court.

Pullen Seeds and Soil, based in Sac City, Iowa, led the group filing Pullen Seeds and Soil v. Monsanto Company, No. 06-599, Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Plaintiffs allege the company violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, as it allegedly has a monopoly over the glyphosate herbicide marketplace with its Roundup products. Monsanto’s patent on Roundup product name expired in 2000.

“During the post-patent period…Roundup has maintained an 80% (or more) market share of all the glyphosate herbicides sold in the United States despite Monsanto’s charging dealers 300% to 400% more for brand-name Roundup than the price charged by generic competitors,” according to the Pullen v. Monsanto court document filed Tuesday. “Monsanto’s ability to charge higher prices for Roundup is the result of a comprehensive anticompetitive scheme which Monsanto began implementing in the 1990s.”

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