Attorney General Larry Long Joins Lawsuit to Stop JBS S.A. From Acquiring National Beef Packing Co.
PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Larry Long today filed suit along with the U.S. Department of Justice and Attorneys General for the states of Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming to block the acquisition by JBS Beef, SA, of National Beef Packing Co.
National and JBS are currently the third and fourth largest beef processors in the United States. This proposed deal would combine two of the top four U.S. beef packers resulting in lower prices paid to cattle suppliers and higher beef prices to consumers. JBS, headquartered in Brazil, is in the process of acquiring Smithfield Beef Group Inc. from Smithfield Foods Inc., which is not being challenged.
“Cattle production is the single largest agriculture segment in the State of South Dakota and this deal would significantly impact the state’s cattle producers and ultimately the consumers,” said Long. “Competitive pricing is necessary in the beef processing industry and to ensure it we must stop this merger.”
The merger of JBS and National would give JBS and the remaining two large beef processors, Tyson and Cargill, the market power to reduce the price they pay to ranchers and feed yards for cattle. These three processors would then control as much as 80% of the domestic fed cattle packing capacity.