UE : Question E-003703-17 de Eva Kaili (S&D) - fusion entre entreprises d’agrotechnologies

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« The agricultural sector is at the crossroads of its evolutionary course to meet the needs for sustainable products, in an ever-growing human population, while protecting the environment.

The six largest agrotechnology companies are merging as, according to them, the combination of their expertise will enable them to provide a better service to producers and consumers.

However, the three new companies which will emerge will control 70% of the world’s agrochemical sector and 60% of seed production. There is a real danger that prices will rise and that variety and product innovation will be reduced. Consequently, the dependency of farmers, consumers and States on the three companies which will form the biggest oligopoly in history will increase.

In view of the above:

Does the Commission guarantee that the mergers will lead to cheaper and more efficient products for farmers in the future, products which will also be safe for consumers and the environment?

Does the Commission guarantee that the mergers will not distort competition through abuse of a dominant position and cartel development? »

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Réponse :

« Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission

The Commission has already investigated two transactions: Dow/DuPont and ChemChina/Syngenta. In both cases, the Commission carefully assessed any possible effects on competition, notably in terms of increased prices, reduced variety and innovation losses. This resulted in sizable remedies being offered by the parties and accepted by the Commission after in-depth scrutiny. In particular, the divestiture of DuPont’s entire R&D organisation ensures a continued supply of improved, safer products.

The proposed merger between Bayer and Monsanto was notified on 30 June 2017 to the Commission, who will investigate it according to the same standard and duly take into account the concerns raised by the Honourable Member. The investigation will be based on the rules of the EU Merger Regulation as applicable to the specific facts of the case. The final decision will have to abide strictly by those rules, be impartial, and is subject to the scrutiny of the European Courts.

Beyond the work to protect competition in these sectors, the Commission — notably the Directorate-General Health and Food Safety — ensures that all plant protection products, when used according to the instructions on the label, are safe for consumers, farmers and the environment.(1) Active substances used in plant protection products are regularly reviewed in order to ensure that they continue to meet the approval criteria. In addition, the Commission sets maximum residue levels for pesticides on food and feed to protect consumers.

(1) In accordance with the strict approval criteria in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. »

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