Seventeen R-CALF USA officers, directors and committee chairs have expressed their deep disappointment with the Department of Justice actions concerning Brazilian-based JBS S.A.'s acquisition of Pilgrim's Pride Corporation. They called the DOJ decision an irrepressible defiance of President Obama's promise to ensure competitive markets for the nation's farmers and ranchers, including its cattle farmers and ranchers and charged the DOJ with failing to properly investigate the antitrust implications of the deal.
"When, as here, the federal government has mandated that producers contribute to a program so beef can better compete against chicken, the Justice Department has no basis to assert that beef and poultry are not competing products and no basis to claim that a merger involving these competing products won't seriously reduce competition in direct violation of U.S. antitrust laws," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
According to a letter to the DOJ, R-CALF says JBS is now free to control the majority of U.S. broiler production while it already controls a near-dominant share of U.S. fed cattle production and, therefore, is now free to adjust at will both the supply and price of both of these competing products. R-CALF USA called this the antithesis of competition.