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The Global Seed Market, Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights: Untying the Gordian Knot

CLES Research Paper Series ISBN 978-1-910801-09-3

47 Pages Posted: 2 May 2016  

Ioannis Lianos

University College London - Faculty of Laws; HSE-Skolkovo Laboratory for Law and Development

Dmitry Katalevsky

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; HSE-Skolkovo Laboratory for Law and Development

Alexey Ivanov

HSE — Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development

Date Written: February 1, 2016

Abstract

The paper explores the competition dynamics of the global seed market. It documents the growth strategies of the major seed companies, in particular their M&A activity and their reliance on complex intellectual property strategies in order to offer a one stop shop solution to farmers. Recent merger activity in this sector (the Monsanto bid to buy Syngenta, the DuPont and Dow merger deal, ChemChina’s bid to buy Syngenta) illustrates its rapid transformation from an already concentrated industry to a tight oligopoly on a global scale. The increasing global consolidation of this industry raises new challenges for competition law enforcement authorities dealing with the emergence of new powerful actors at the factor of production (input) level, in view of the broader concerns animating public policy in the food sector and the existence of a nexus of international commitments for biodiversity, sustainability, the right to food etc. By exploring this under-studied but fascinating area of competition law enforcement we open the debate over the inclusion of broader public interest concerns in competition policy and the consideration of its distributive impact from a global perspective.

Keywords: antitrust, competition law, global food value chain, agricultural markets, mergers and acquisitions, seeds, contract agriculture, cross-licensing agreements, factors of agricultural production, biodiversity, sustainability, global commons, IP rights, plant variety protection rights

JEL Classification: G34, K10, K21, L4, L40, Q10, Q13, Q18

Suggested Citation

Lianos, Ioannis and Katalevsky, Dmitry and Ivanov, Alexey, The Global Seed Market, Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights: Untying the Gordian Knot (February 1, 2016). CLES Research Paper Series ISBN 978-1-910801-09-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2773422 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2773422

Ioannis Lianos (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

London
United Kingdom

HSE-Skolkovo Laboratory for Law and Development ( email )

8 Pokrovski Boulevard
Moscow, 109028
Russia

Dmitry Katalevsky

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration ( email )

Vernadsky Prospect, 84
Москва, 119571
Russia

HSE-Skolkovo Laboratory for Law and Development ( email )

8 Pokrovski Boulevard
Moscow, 109028
Russia

Alexey Ivanov

HSE — Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development ( email )

8 Pokrovski Boulevard
Moscow, 109028
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://ild.hse.ru/en/

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