Drew Edmondson, the attorney general of Oklahoma, has written to the Department of Justice asking them to take action concerning the proposed acquisition of National Beef Packing, Smithfield Beef Group and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding by JBS. This follows a similar letter from several attorneys' general from other Midwestern states.
"Beef processing is already a highly concentrated industry," Edmondson wrote. "The top five processors exercise an 85% market share and this merger will result in the consolidation of three of these processors into one. The entity that comes from this merger will be the largest beef processor in the United States by a significant margin."
Edmondson also wrote that the merger as currently proposed would also give JBS control over the nation's largest feedlot operation resulting in the kind of vertical integration that would provide the power to not only drive prices paid producers down, but drive consumer prices up.
"I urge the Department of Justice to closely scrutinize this merger and take the necessary action to secure competition in the beef industry," Edmonson wrote.