ACCC won’t oppose Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto

BayerConsumer watchdog ACCC has announced today it will not oppose Bayer AG’s proposal to acquire Monsanto Corporation on the basis of global divestments.

The ACCC said in a statement the European Commission gave conditional approval to the proposed acquisition on March 21, subject to divestiture of major parts of Bayer’s herbicide, traits and seeds business along with a number of research and development functions and projects.

“The ACCC previously had concerns the proposed acquisition may substantially lessen competition in the supply of weed management systems for use on canola crops and reduce competitive tension in research and development of new crop protection products.The global divestments resolve those competition concerns in Australia,” ACCC commissioner Mick Keogh said.

The ACCC worked closely with the European Commission, the US Department of Justice and the Canadian Competition Bureau in assessing the deal. The consumer watchdog also closely considered certain issues which were unique to Australia, particularly in relation to cotton seeds.

“A number of interested parties raised concerns about the cancellation of Bayer’s Australian cotton breeding program and the potential foreclosure of rival Australian providers of cotton seed treatments, given the combined Bayer-Monsanto’s control of the Round-Up cotton seed trait. The ACCC investigated these issues in detail and concluded that there were no significant competition concerns,” Keogh said.

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