The European Union has approved Bayer’s buyout of Monsanto in a massive agriculture business deal, but says they will have to shed over $7.4 billion in firms and other remedies to ensure fair competition in the market.
The $57 billion takeover has been watched by rivals and environmental groups, who are fearful that the number of players in the business of selling seeds and pesticides will shrink further and give one company a suffocating grip on the food chain.
EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said … that the remedies proposed by Bayer and Monsanto are worth well over 6 billion euros in business and “meet our competition concerns in full.”
Monsanto in September accepted Bayer’s offer, in which it also assumes $9 billion in debt, in a move affecting anything from tomatoes and cucumbers to the use of pesticides across the globe. The United States still needs to give its approval to the merger.
Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said that “the European Commission’s approval is a major success and a significant milestone.” He said the companies were still working with U.S. authorities on the deal, which they hope to close in the second quarter of 2018.
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