The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) and Syngenta AG have finally reached an agreement over the case of corn and soybean technologies.
In 2004, the world's largest agrichemical company, Switzerland 's Syngenta, launched a US lawsuit charging Monsanto with using coercive tactics to monopolize markets. There were several lawsuits going both ways between Monsanto and Syngenta.
Both agribusinesses managed to settle lawsuits with Syngenta obliged to drop antitrust and patent infringement suits against Monsanto
Monsanto is bound to license to Syngenta certain technologies for increasing soybean yield.
Both companies agreed to cooperate in some new product development using herbicide-tolerant and pest-protected corn technologies, and herbicide-tolerant soybean technology.
Monsanto is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as "Roundup". Monsanto is also by far the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed, holding 70%–100% market share for various crops. Agracetus, owned by Monsanto, exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market.
Monsanto's development and marketing of genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone, as well as its aggressive litigation and political lobbying practices, have made the company controversial around the world and a primary target of the anti-globalization movement and environmental activists.
Syngenta is involved in biotechnology and genomic research. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in total sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market. Sales in 2007 were approximately US$ 9.2 billion. Syngenta employs over 21,000 people in over 90 countries.
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