EU: Antitrust agency to review Bayer Monsanto $62bn merger

The European Union’s antitrust agency said Wednesday that it would be conducting a strict review of the pending merger between German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer and agrochemical group Monsanto.

In an uncharacteristically early statement ahead of the EU’s formal notification of the pending US$62bn purchase of Monsanto by the pharma group, antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said: “Our final decision must strictly and impartially apply European merger control rules.”

In a letter to two members of the European Parliament post on the Green Party’s website, Vestager wrote: “In our investigation, we will take into account your concerns about the effects of the Bayer-Monsanto merger on prices, the variety of available seed products as well as research and innovation.”

Green Party lawmakers had voiced concerns over the merger to the European Commission, the antitrust agency of the EU.

Elsewhere, other rivals in the industry have also made plans to merge, including Dow Chemical, DuPont and Syngenta, which means some markets may already be more concentrated by the time Bayer formally notifies EU regulators about the deal.

Vestager said the commission would consider the context that several mergers would be taking place at the same time in the sector.

The European Commission can block deals or demand the parties submit remedies to address any competition concerns.

“I can assure you that my case teams will examine the three announced mergers in the seeds and agrochemicals sector very carefully.”

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

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