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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Intellectual Property and Market Structure in Agriculture


In the past several years, the seed industry worldwide has been dramatically restructured, mostly through mergers and acquisitions. We argue that the restructuring has been technologically driven, and has also resulted in the transformation of several chemical conglomerates into life-sciences firms. We discuss why the restructuring has mostly occurred through mergers rather than contractual relationships such as licensing, and investigate its efficiency implications, both as it concerns anticompetitive effects and the joint use of complementary assets.

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