October 2016

Call for a multilateral competition regime

By Pradeep S Mehta

Control over the global food value chain is getting consolidated in fewer private hands, posing serious security concerns

Four current multibillion-dollar deals in the agriculture sector are ringing alarm bells around the world—the takeovers of Syngenta by ChemChina and of Monsanto by Bayer; and the mergers between Dow Chemical and DuPont, and between Potash and Agrium. Consequently, the global agricultural input market will get further concentrated, which in turn would have an impact on the global food value chain (GFVC).

After ‘defence’, it is ‘food’ that is the most important consideration for a nation’s security. Thus, the fact that control over GFVC is getting consolidated in fewer private hands could pose serious security concerns. It is suggested that Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries should tackle this jointly through a coordinated competition policy.

The core of competition law enforcement is ‘economic analysis’, which in turn is guided by the ‘economic doctrine’ followed by the enforcing country. While some will emphasize ‘efficiency’ during economic analysis, others may like to include the ‘public welfare’ angle.More…

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