Right To Repair

FTC acts to address consolidation in rural America

Consolidation is a sweeping trend that is affecting life in rural America. By acting on Tractor Supply Company's acquisition of Orscheln, the Federal Trade Commission is taking action to limit its impact on agricultural communities.

Tractor on massive soybean field
fotokostic | Shutterstock.com

The day before National Farmer Day, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took action to limit consolidation in agricultural communities. The FTC issued a consent order relating to Tractor Supply Company’s acquisition of Orscheln Farm and Home LLC, a rival chain with more than 150 stores spanning the Midwest and South. Both stores sell products used by small farmers, ranchers and gardeners.

Consolidation is a sweeping trend that is affecting life in rural America. U.S. PIRG investigated how agricultural equipment dealership consolidation is hurting farmers by further reducing their repair choices. The report, “Deere in the Headlights II“, found that there is one John Deere dealership for every 12,018 American farms and every 5.3 million acres of American farmland.

Under the order, Tractor Supply will be forced to divest some Orscheln stores, which will instead be run by other, smaller chains, Bomgaars and Buchheit. The FTC is taking further steps to ensure that harmful consolidation is avoided by requiring the chains to get approval for certain sales and acquisitions of stores moving forward.

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