Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) are asking the U.S. Justice Department to take a close look at the proposed merger of Smithfield Foods and Premium Standard Farms.

In a letter he wrote to the department’s antitrust division, Grassley claims the merger would hurt independent producers by increasing Smithfield’s marketshare in the pork industry.

"Over the last several years Smithfield has made it perfectly clear that it intended to purchase its competitors to assert dominance in the pork industry," says Grassley. "Particularly alarming is the attitude of the leadership of Smithfield of how they can run everyone out of business."

The Justice Department could try to block the merger on antitrust grounds or require the companies to sell some of their operations. Smithfield’s officers are confident the merger will go through as outlined.

DM Register