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European Commission clears Bayer Monsanto deal

It has now received approvals for the transaction from more than half of the regulatory authorities, including those in Brazil and China


Alex   Black

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Alex   Black
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European Commission clears Bayer Monsanto deal

The deal was subject to the divestment of certain Bayer businesses to meet competition concerns, removing the overlap in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture.

 

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said the remedies met its competition concerns in full and the decision ensured there would be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture after the merger.

 

“In particular, we have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same.


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“That is important because we need competition to ensure farmers have a choice of different seed varieties and pesticides at affordable prices.

 

“And we need competition to push companies to innovate in digital agriculture and to continue to develop new products that meet the high regulatory standards in Europe, to the benefit of all Europeans and the environment."

 

The European Commission (EC) said these commitments addressed their competition concerns in full:

  • Removal of all of the parties’ existing overlaps in seed and pesticide markets, where concerns were raised, by divesting the relevant Bayer businesses and assets.
  • They cover Bayer’s global R and D organisation for seeds and traits as well as Bayer’s research activities to develop a challenger product to Monsanto’s glyphosate. They also cover certain Monsanto assets, which in future would have competed with a Bayer seed treatment against nematode worms.
  • Bayer has committed to grant a licence to its entire global digital agriculture product portfolio and pipeline products to ensure continued competition on this emerging market.

 

Purchaser

 

Bayer has proposed BASF as a purchaser and the Commission was assessing whether it meets all purchaser requirements and whether it creates any problematic overlaps or raises other competition concerns.

 

Bayer and Monsanto can only implement the transaction when the Commission has completed its review.

 

The transaction was the third in a row in the seeds and pesticides sector.

 

The EC said, in line with its case practice, the Commission assessed transactions taking place in the same industry according to the so-called ‘priority rule’ of first come, first served.

 

The assessment of the merger between Bayer and Monsanto has been based on the market situation following the Dow/DuPont merger and the ChemChina/Syngenta merger.

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