European Commission issues formal objection to Bayer-Monsanto deal
The European Commission issued formal objections last Friday to Bayer's planned $66 billion takeover of Monsanto, according to two people briefed on the case, signaling the deal may be blocked unless the German company makes more significant concessions.
The objections from Brussels represent a stark ultimatum for the agrichemical giant, which has spent at least 12 months trying to bring around EU regulators on the politically charged mega-merger.
When announced, Bayer's tie-up with Monsanto was set to create the world's largest portfolio of pesticides, but Bayer has already sold off some businesses to allay competition concerns.
The Commission, which has until March 5 to reach a final decision, has the power to either block mergers or demand divestments by the companies.
As was the case with the inquiry into Dow and DuPont, which merged earlier this year, people following the Bayer case say the Commission is running an extremely wide-reaching investigation and is demanding huge amounts of information.