The EU on Wednesday approved the proposed blockbuster buyout of US agri-giant Monsanto by German chemical firm Bayer after securing concessions in order to win approval.
“We have approved Bayer’s plans to take over Monsanto because the parties’ remedies, worth well over 6 billion euros ($7.4 billion), meet our competition concerns in full,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief.
Brussels launched an in-depth investigation in August into the $66 billion (56-billion-euro) deal, which would create the world’s largest integrated pesticides and seeds company and raised alarm among activists.
The European Commission, which serves as the powerful anti-trust regulator for the 28-nation European Union, at the time, cited concerns it could reduce competition in key products for farmers.
Brussels made the decision despite opposition by environmentalists who fear that the deal gives too much power to the world’s leading manufacturers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the controversial weedkiller glyphosate.
The tie-up has already won approval by Chinese authorities, but still awaits the crucial approval by US regulators, which have voiced concerns.