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The proposed Cargill purchase of Continental Grain's grain merchandising business would join the world's two largest grain and oilseed exporters. Many farm organizations, other participants in the industry, regulators, and policy makers have expressed concerns about the proposed acquisition. We will describe the businesses and market volumes involved, the locations where potential losses of competition from their combination may be important or insignificant, and discuss potential increases in efficiency or effectiveness which might be expected from such a business combination. Ultimately, the questions regarding the acquisition are likely to boil down to comparing the potential benefits and costs, overall, and we will briefly consider both.

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This report is published in Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring-Summer, 2000), pp. 252-266