Biden wants to tackle seed sector concentration – Marketplace

The Joe Biden administration has been on a mission to boost competition in the American economy. Working under a sweeping executive order to that effect, federal agencies have taken aim at bank overdraft fees and “noncompete” agreements that keep workers from pursuing higher pay. They’ve also allowed hearing aids to be sold over the counter.

All of that is meant to curb the influence of the biggest companies. This week, the White House put the agricultural seed sector on notice by forming a working group to look at market concentration in the industry.

You know that meme of a really intense-looking guy in front of a bulletin board with crisscrossed red string outlining his conspiracy theory? That’s Phil Howard charting decreasing competition in the seed sector.

“Yeah, it’s a lot to keep track of,” he said, laughing. Howard is a professor at Michigan State University who has been at this since the late ’90s.

His latest graphic shows that over 60% of global seed sales are controlled by just four firms.

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