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Monsanto (MON): Justice Department Ends Antitrust Probe Of Seed Industry

 November 19, 2012 11:53 AM

(By Balaseshan) Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) said the U.S. Department of Justice has ended its formal antitrust probe into the crop biotechnology giant's soybean traits business and the seed industry without pursuing charges.

Monsanto originally reported this inquiry in January 2010. The inquiry stated that Monsanto was trying to limit access to push a new, pricier product instead, according to the Reuters.

The Justice Department had demanded information about Monsanto's business practices surrounding its Roundup Ready soybean, a ubiquitous product that is genetically modified to withstand application of the herbicide glyphosate, according to the Wall Street Journal.

[Related -Monsanto Company (MON) Dividend Stock Analysis]

Monsanto said at that time that it will allow farmers and seed companies continued access to the first-generation Roundup Ready trait following patent expiry in 2014.

Monsanto said it had cooperated fully with the Justice Department since January 2010, and has received written notification on Friday from the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, that the inquiry was closed without any enforcement action.

"We're pleased that the Justice Department has closed its inquiry and this issue is now behind us. Our business is focused on delivering new product innovations to farmers each and every year and we remain committed to developing the products that deliver results for them," said David Snively, Monsanto's executive vice president, secretary and general counsel.

[Related -Monsanto Company (MON): Shares Offer Compelling Value]

The company's seeds, biotechnology trait products, and herbicides provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity, reduce the costs of farming, and produce better foods for consumers and better feed for animals. It manages business in two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity.

MON is trading up 2.11% at $87.03 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $67.09 and $92.20 for the past 52 weeks.

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