- Associated Press - Saturday, November 12, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa planter and grain cart manufacturer is asking a federal judge to protect it from having to turn over sensitive internal documents in an antitrust lawsuit in which it’s not directly involved.

Kinze Manufacturing, of Williamsburg, Iowa, filed motions Thursday in the federal government’s lawsuit intended to block a deal between farm implement maker John Deere and seed giant Monsanto, the Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/2ftRbLR ) Saturday. Kinze says John Deere is trying to access a wide variety of internal documents about its planting equipment business, including marketing strategies, sales data and research and development plans. John Deere served the Iowa company a subpoena last month seeking the documents as part of an ongoing antitrust lawsuit the government filed to stop Deere from purchasing Precision Planting, a Monsanto subsidiary that manufactures precision-planting equipment.

Learning the potential capabilities and future plans for Kinze’s precision planting business could help Deere defend itself against claims that the acquisition of Precision Planting would squeeze competitors out of the market, said Jennifer Zwagerman, the associate director of the agricultural law center at Drake University Law School.

Kinze argues that turning over those documents would divulge its most tightly held business secrets and irreparably affect its ability to compete with Deere.

Kinze should not be required to turn over its most sensitive confidential business information to Deere, simply because Deere holds the unsubstantiated belief that the information may be relevant to its litigation,” attorneys for Kinze wrote in the motion. “Deere cannot be allowed to convert the division’s lawsuit into a license to rummage through the internal workings of Kinze.”

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com


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