DOJ Allows Bayer Acquisition of Monsanto, with Conditions

The U.S. Justice Department has come to an agreement in principle to approve Bayer’s purchase of Monsanto for $62.5 billion, says Dow Jones.

The acquisition has been in limbo, but Bayer CEO Werner Bauman and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant met recently with department officials and the companies pledged to sell further assets to win government approval, the report says.

After Bayer won European Union (EU) antitrust approval on March 21 for the deal, U.S. officials expressed concern that the use of genetically modified seeds by U.S. farmers would leave them unable to compete with their European counterparts, where the use of genetically modified seeds is banned.

Bayer will divest business assets related to seed treatment and give up ownership of parts of its digital agriculture business, the report says. Rival BASF will acquire those assets, in addition to more than $7 billion in assets Bayer agreed to sell as a part of the EU approval.

Announced in 2016, the merger is set to create a company controlling more than 25% of the world’s seed and pesticides market.


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