European Commission initiates further investigation into Bayer Monsanto merger

22 August 2017 15:15 Source:ICIS News

Source: Bayer LONDON (ICIS)--Bayer confirmed on Tuesday that the European Commission (EC) has initiated a Phase II investigation of the Germany company’s proposed merger with Monsanto, the chems producer said on Tuesday.

Bayer said that it had fully expected further review into the deal due to its size and scope but maintains its belief that the proposed combination “will be highly beneficial for farmers and consumers”. The council will have until 8 January 2018 to come to a decision on the deal.

“Bayer 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,” it added.

Commenting on its reasoning for initiating a further investigation, the EC said that it “has concerns that the merger may reduce competition in areas such as pesticides, seeds and traits”.

It continued to say that this lack of competition would result in higher prices, lower quality, less choice and less innovation.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Seeds and pesticide products are essential for farmers and ultimately consumers.

“We need to ensure effective competition so that farmers can have access to innovative products, better quality and also purchase products at competitive prices. And at the same time maintain an environment where companies can innovate and invest in improved products.”

Announced in December 2016, the $66bn deal had been initially expected to close by the end of 2017, according to Monsanto.

(Pictured source: Bayer)

By Niall Swan