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Unformatted text preview: competitive marketplace. The price of cattle was set through open bidding
at auctions. The large meatpackers competed with hundreds of small regional firms. In 1970 the top four meatpacking firms slaughtered only
21 percent of the nation’s cattle. A decade later, the Reagan administration allowed these firms to merge and combine without fear of
antitrust enforcement. The Justice Department and the P&SA’s successor, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
(GIPSA), stood aside as the large meatpackers gained control of one local cattle market after another. Today the top four meatpacking firms
— ConAgra, IBP, Excel, and National Beef— slaughter about 84 p ercent of the nation’s cattle. Market concentration in the beef industry is
now at the highest level since record-keeping began in the early twentieth century.
Today’s unprecedented degree of meatpacking concentration has helped depress the prices that independent ranchers get for their cattle.
Over the l...
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.
- Spring '08