Senator Chuck Grassley has responded to the Department of Justice’s decision to file a consent decree in the proposed acquisition of Hillshire Brands by Tyson Foods. The consent decree would require Tyson to get rid of its sow purchasing business, Heinold Hog Markets, before the purchase of Hillshire could proceed.

Some independent producers feared that Tyson could engage in the practice of ‘tie-in’ sales of sows with market hogs. This would put those producers at a disadvantage when looking for markets for their sows. In a statement issued this week, Grassley said he appreciates the Justice Department took his concerns into consideration.

He adds that a merger without conditions would have allowed the new company to control more than one-third of the slaughter sow purchasing market.