Senate committee to scrutinize DuPont-Dow merger

The head of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has called for hearings next month on the proposed merger between the DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical, as well as on broader issues of consolidation within the seed and chemical industry.

Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday that Iowans are concerned that consolidation could result in higher production costs in an already declining agriculture economy.

The deal is being scrutinized by Justice Department and European antitrust authorities.

A DuPont spokesman said the company believes the merger will be good for customers and consumers, and that it continues to expect the deal to close this year.

Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said he doesn't expect the hearing to raise any major impediments to the merger.