- Monsanto Company
SummaryBayer AG proposed to acquire Monsanto Company. This was a global transaction being considered by multiple competition regulators around the world.
Market definitionFor the purposes of this review it was not necessary to reach a concluded view on the precise definition of markets. The key products considered were:
Competition analysisThe ACCC took into consideration Bayer's commitments to the European Commission relating to:
These commitments remove the overlap between Bayer and Monsanto in relation to the supply of weed management systems for canola and the supply of vegetable seeds, including in Australia. The divestiture of certain areas of research and the licencing of Bayer's digital agriculture products enhances future competition in these areas. The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would not substantially lessen competition in any relevant market after taking into consideration these divestments.
There were two cotton seed related issues considered by the ACCC that were specific to Australia:
With respect to the first issue, Bayer already supplies seed treatments and will acquire Monsanto's cotton traits business. The review considered the ability of the merged entity to bundle the supply of traits and seed treatments in Australia in order to exclude competing suppliers of seed treatments. We considered that there were sufficient constraints that would limit the ability of the merged entity to do this.
The ACCC's review also considered the decision of Bayer to cancel a program to develop cotton seed for sale in Australia. Shortly before the merger was announced, Bayer announced that it was closing its Australian cotton seed breeding program. Concerns about the coincidence of these announcements were raised by a number of people. Consideration of this decision was an important part of the ACCC's investigation. Based on the investigation, including information provided by Bayer, the ACCC considered that the closure of the breeding program was not connected to the proposed acquisition.
|16/02/2017||ACCC commenced review under the Merger Process Guidelines.|
|16/03/2017||Closing date for submissions from interested parties.|
|23/03/2017||ACCC requested additional information from Bayer. Former proposed decision date of 20 April 2017 delayed to allow Bayer to provide the information.|
|26/04/2017||ACCC received further information from Bayer. ACCC timeline recommenced.|
|26/04/2017||ACCC requested further information from Bayer. ACCC timeline suspended.|
|16/05/2017||ACCC received further information from Bayer. ACCC timeline recommenced.|
|21/06/2017||Proposed decision date of 13 July 2017 suspended to allow the parties to provide further information.|
|22/03/2018||ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.|