The European Union’s anti-trust watchdog said Tuesday that it has launched a probe into German chemical maker Bayer’s planned acquisition of U.S. seed and weed-killer company Monsanto.
The European Commission, which polices competition in Europe, said it has concerns that the merger may reduce competition in areas like pesticides and seeds.
Monsanto in September last year accepted an offer from Bayer to pay $57 billion to its shareholders and assume $9 billion in debt. Were it to go ahead, the buyout would create the world’s largest integrated pesticides and seeds company.
The company had expected further review of the proposed acquisition of Monsanto due to the size and scope of the transaction. Bayer believes that the proposed combination will be highly beneficial for farmers and consumers, and will continue to work closely and constructively with the European Commission in its investigation.
The companies notified the transaction to the European Commission on June 30, 2017, and submitted commitments on July 31, 2017.