The U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday approved Bayer Ag’s acquisition of Monsanto, with conditions. The Justice Department says Bayer must sell approximately $9 billion in businesses and assets to BASF. The Department says the proposed divestiture to BASF, which it calls an experienced chemical company with a substantial crop protection business, will fully resolve all horizontal and vertical competition concerns.
As a result, the Department say,s “American farmers and consumers will continue to benefit from competition in this industry.” The Antitrust Division Tuesday filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction, while simultaneously filing a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the department’s competitive concerns.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Bayer must divest businesses that compete with Monsanto. Those include Bayer’s cotton, canola, soybean and vegetable seed businesses, as well as Bayer’s Liberty herbicide business, a key competitor of Monsanto’s well-known Roundup herbicide.