John Deere filed a response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit seeking to block the company’s planned purchase of Precision Planting from the The Climate Corp.
Responding to allegations that the acquisition would limit competition, particularly in the high-speed planter market, Deere contends that the DOJ is misinterpreting the market and that planter speed is only one of many factors farmers consider on their operation.
The response also argues that the acquisition would increase product and technology choices for farmers, rather than limit them, as stated in the DOJ complaint. Ken Golden, director of global public relations for Deere and Co., says the lawsuit is designed to protect a competitor, not competition.
In an effort to strengthen its position, Deere this week also announced a planned agreement with Ag Leader Technology to allow the independent precision supplier to license and develop Precision Planting products.
The agreement is contingent on Deere’s acquisition of Precision Planting, but if completed, would broaden market availability for high speed planter technology, according to Golden.
While the planned agreement with Ag Leader could expedite an end to the pending litigation, the civil trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 27.