By Grant Rodgers
Litigation stemming from John Deere's planned acquision of Precision Planting continued to evolve with a report from the Des Moines Register that attorneys representing Kinze Manufacturing filed motions asking a federal judge to stop Deere from trying to access a wide variety of internal documents about the Williamsburg company's planting equipment business, including marketing strategies, sales data and research and development plans.
According to the report, Deere served the Iowa company a subpoena last month seeking the documents as part of an ongoing antitrust lawsuit the Obama administration filed to stop Deere from purchasing Precision Planting, a Monsanto subsidiary that manufactures precision-planting equipment.
Kinze is not directly involved in the antitrust lawsuit, but the family-owned manufacturer has its own high-speed precision planter series that was unveiled in 2013. Attorneys representing Kinze argued that turning over some of the company's most confidential documents to Deere would irreparably affect its ability to compete in the future with the agricultural giant. Most of the information sought by Deere is held only by key Kinze executives and employees, the motion said.
Kinze has already turned over more than 18,000 pages of less sensitive financial and business documents to the antitrust division and Deere as part of an investigation that was done before the lawsuit was filed. Reviewing, processing and providing the additional information requested in the subpoenas would cost the company more than $75,000, lawyers wrote in the filings.
To read the full Des Moines Register article, click here.