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EU Approves Bayer/Monsanto Merger

U.S. still needs to give its approval to the $57B merger

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 according to a report from USA Today.

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 Wednesday 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.

Without the remedies, Vestager said that the buyout would have significantly reduced competition in the market and hindered innovation. She said the deal would create the world's largest pesticides and seeds company and therefore needed a large number of remedies to be approved.

"We have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same," said Vestager. "That is important because we need competition to ensure farmers have a choice of different seed varieties and pesticides at affordable prices."

Read the full report at USA Today.

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