The Monsanto Monopoly: Price Fixing of Herbicides

In 1984, the Supreme Court found Monsanto in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act because of their “conspiracy to maintain resale prices and terminate price-cutters” of agricultural herbicides.


The case was decided after Spray-Rite—a wholesale distributor of Monsanto agricultural herbicides from 1957 to 1968—filed a lawsuit against Monsanto after the termination of their distributorship. Spray-Rite alleged that “the termination was a result of a conspiracy among Monsanto and some of its distributors to eliminate Spray-Rite as a competitor.” The case was decided based on “evidence of numerous complaints to Monsanto from competing distributors about Spray-Rite’s price-cutting practices.” While the jury and court ultimately ruled in favor of Spray-Rite, this distributor-termination case demonstrates the persistent efforts of Monsanto to squash competition in the agricultural industry.


The 1984 document we are highlighting was drafted by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors as a Legal Advisory on the “Monsanto Company v. Spray-Rite Service. Corp. Distributor-Termination Case” decided by the Supreme Court. View it here!