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Stimulating Antitrust Enforcement to Expand the Regenerative Agriculture Movement

  • Author(s): Tam, Kristen;
  • Bielskis, Olivia
  • Advisor(s): Boyd, William
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-SA' version 4.0 license
Abstract

Competition in the agricultural marketplace has significantly declined as a result of decreasing antitrust enforcement and increasing consolidation. In the current market, the largest firms control disproportionate percentages of market power, threatening consumer prices, principles of equal economic opportunity, and viability of small firms. Agriculture contributes to 10.5 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions. The necessary reduction of emissions is hindered by dominating large farms’ tendency to employ practices that increase emissions, contrary to small farms. Agriculture consolidation has increased due to non-precautionary approaches by the Supreme Court and federal regulation agencies. Specifically, the Supreme Court’s ruling that the “threat of loss of profits due to possible price competition” does not constitute antitrust harm, has hindered the implementation of the Clayton Act. Additionally, the federal agencies responsible for regulating mergers have increased the number of mergers they approve. The lack of strict antitrust regulation to prevent mergers from holding undue percentages of the marketplace is hindering the growth of regenerative farming, a set of practices that will be integral in combating climate change.

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