The merger as initially proposed would have harmed consumers and farmers by eliminating competition, the DOJ said. However, the Trump administration is satisfied with the terms of the settlement announced Tuesday.
“America’s farm system is of critical importance to our economy, to our food system, and to our way of life,” said Makan Delrahim, head of the DOJ’s antitrust division. “American farmers and consumers rely on head-to-head competition between Bayer and Monsanto.”
Last October, Bayer agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide brand, cotton and soybean seeds, and other seed capabilities to BASF SE, another German chemical corporation. That deal was worth €5.9 billion. Another sale to BASF was announced in April, with Bayer divesting of herbicides, wheat hybrids research and digital farming business that had combined sales amounting to €2.2 billion in 2017, according to Bloomberg.
Interesting, especially since one species after another is suffering from too much Roundup, the latest being Monarch butterflies that have declined significantly in population in the last twenty years. In addition, where there’s smoke there’s fire, and Monsanto’s pesticide creation has been the subject of a lot of medical research Monsanto disputes.
Announcing the merger in 2016, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said there was an opportunity for both companies to “get beyond this image and reputation thing” by rebranding Monsanto.
At any rate, the sale of Monsanto to another agricultural chemical company, seeds and all, now makes Bayer the world’s largest seed supplier to the world. Not just the United States, but the world as the European Union approved the sale earlier this year.