As an antitrust lawsuit continues over John Deere’s intended acquisition of Monsanto’s Precision Planting subsidiary, Kinze Manufacturing finds itself pulled into the fray. Earlier in November, Kinze filed motions that asks a federal judge to stop Deere from accessing information about its own planting business.

The documents include “marketing strategies, sales data and research and development plans,” according to recent reporting from the Des Moines Register. Jennifer Zwagerman, the associate director of the agricultural law center at Drake University Law School, reviewed the court filings at the Register’s request and told the newspaper that knowing Kinze’s “potential capabilities and future plans” could help Deere defend itself against the antitrust lawsuit.

Attorneys for Kinze, meantime, argue the company shouldn’t have to turn over what it deems “confidential documents” to a major competitor.

According to the motion: “Kinze should not be required to turn over its most sensitive confidential business information to Deere, simply because Deere holds the unsubstantiated belief that the information may be relevant to its litigation. Deere cannot be allowed to convert the Division’s lawsuit into a license to rummage through the internal workings of Kinze.

Company officials for Deere released statements indicating both Deere and Department of Justice lawyers want the documents, which will be protected under a court order to preserve confidentiality and limit exposure of competitive information to certain lawyers involved in the case.

“This request to Kinze is a normal part of the legal process, and other competitors have complied with similar requests,” they note.

For more information about the DOJ suit, go to www.agweb.com/mobile/article/why-justice-wants-to-block-the-deereprecision-planting-​deal-naa-alison-rice/.