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EU: EC starts in-depth probe of Bayer, Monsanto deal

 |  August 22, 2017

The European Commission (EC) said Tuesday that it has launched a probe into German chemical maker Bayer’s planned acquisition of US seed and weed-killer company Monsanto.

The EC, which polices competition in Europe, said it has concerns that the merger may reduce competition in areas like pesticides and seeds.

“We need to ensure effective competition so that farmers can have access to innovative products, better quality and also purchase products at competitive prices,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

In September last year, Monsanto accepted an offer from Bayer to pay US$57 billion to its shareholders and assume US$9 billion in debt. Were it to go ahead, the buyout would create the world’s largest integrated pesticides and seeds company.

The EC says it will also look into whether the move would hinder the access of competitors to distributors and farmers.

Bayer said in a statement that it “had expected further review of the proposed acquisition of Monsanto due to the size and scope of the transaction.”

“Bayer believes that the proposed combination will be highly beneficial for farmers and consumers,” it said, adding that it “looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the Commission with a view to obtaining the Commission’s approval of the transaction by the end of this year.”

Full Content: Bloomberg

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