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EU Commission Investigating Bayer-Monsanto Deal

Concerns about stifled competition and innovation have led the EU Commission to begin an in-depth investigation into the proposed US$66 billion acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer agreed to last September.

The Commission is apprehensive that the deal, which would create the second largest pesticides and seed company in the world, would limit competition in the pesticide, seed, and genetic traits, and would lead to higher prices and lower quality products for farmers.

Of particular concern is the fact that Monsanto and Bayer are two of a very few companies able to discover new active ingredients and develop new pesticide formulations, and both companies are active in breeding vegetable seeds with a high combined market in the segment. Furthermore, Monsanto has the largest market share for oilseed rape seeds in Europe and Bayer has the largest market share in oilseed rape seeds on a global level.

The investigation, which was launched on August 22, has until January 8, 2018 to conclude if the deal is counter to EU Merger Regulations and if it will approve the deal.

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