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8/22/2017, 3:07 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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EU probe targets Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto

Competition in the area of pesticides, seeds and traits could be reduced under the provisions of the ongoing process getting Monsanto Co. under the control of Bayer AG, the European Commission said on Tuesday. Regulators led by Margrethe Vestager said an in-depth investigation will assess compliance with rules. The $66 billion takeover is set to form the world's largest player in the sector.

"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," said the commissioner in charge of competition policy. The statement notes the European Union stepped in to protect farmers and consumers in the titanic merger of Dow and DuPont as well as Syngenta and ChemChina.

The probe will focus on overlaps in pesticides such as nonselective herbicide glyphosate, manufactured by the chemical giant based in St. Louis, Missouri, and the German investor's alternative – glufosinate ammonium. Other potential barriers are seen in Monsanto's biological pesticides' competition with Bayer's chemical portfolio, and treatments fighting bee parasites. Further, the commission stressed concerns over direct competition in oilseed rape and cotton seeds, and alternative herbicide tolerance traits.

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