The U.S. Department of Justice announced this week that John Deere and Monsanto had terminated their attempted sale of Precision Planting, LLC., from Monsanto to John Deere. The department filed suit to block the sale on August 31, 2016, to block the acquisition. The reasoning behind the suit was the Justice Department felt the sale was a merger-to-monopoly in high-speed planting systems. The technology allows farmers to plant crops like corn, soybeans, and other row crops at twice the speed of a conventional planter. The case had been scheduled for trial on June 5. Acting Assistant Attorney General Andrew Finch said the decision to abandon the sale was “a victory for American farmers and consumers. Had this sale gone forward, significant head-to-head competition between Deere and Monsanto’s Precision Planting technologies would have been lost. That competition had led to lower prices and more innovative products.” The proposed sale would have combined the only two providers of precision planting systems. John May, the President of Agricultural Solutions and Chief Information Officer at John Deere, says, “We are deeply disappointed in this outcome as we remain confident the acquisition would have benefitted consumers.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), today announced Monsanto’s termination of their agreement with Deere & Company for the acquisition of the Precision Planting LLC equipment business. The agreement was announced in November 2015, and closing has been delayed by Department of Justice concerns with the transaction.
The Climate Corporation made the strategic decision nearly 18 months ago to focus its business exclusively on its digital agriculture platform, and that strategy has not changed. The company intends to sell the Precision Planting equipment business and has spoken with several third parties that have expressed interest in purchasing it.
John Deere also announced today their termination of the Digital Ag Connectivity agreement with The Climate Corporation. The termination of this agreement will have no impact on existing Climate FieldViewTM customers who currently use John Deere’s Wireless Data Server (WDS) technology to stream data into their account.
The Climate Corporation remains committed to enabling seamless field data collection from multiple equipment types and software systems into its Climate FieldViewTM digital agriculture platform. Easily getting their data into one platform is essential in helping farmers get valuable insights from their field data that can support the important agronomic decisions they make through the year.
Today, the Climate FieldView platform is the most connected in the industry. The company has sold more than 10,000 Climate FieldViewTM Drive devices that stream real-time data from planters, sprayers and combines, with more than 70 percent of FieldView Drive data streaming from John Deere planters and combines today. Climate FieldView also will retain connectivity with Precision Planting’s industry leading 20/20 SeedSense monitor, regardless of the planned sale of the business. In addition to equipment connectivity, Climate has agreements in place that enable data transfer from more than 80 percent of the top retailers across the Corn Belt into the Climate FieldView platform.
Beyond seamless data collection, Climate FieldView provides data storage, digital maps that help farmers analyze seed performance, and planting prescription and nitrogen monitoring tools to support the decisions farmers make every day to maximize their return on every acre.
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