Niveau juridique : Union européenne
Question écrite à la Commission de Bernd Lange (S&D) - Fusion Bayer-Monsanto - cession de l’entreprise de de semences potagères Nunhems, P-002279-18
Texte de la question :
« In the context of the Bayer-Monsanto merger, Bayer recently announced its intention to divest its vegetable seed business Nunhems. Without further ado, Bayer entered into exclusive talks with BASF, which had already signed an agreement back in autumn 2017 to acquire other significant assets as remedies under the antitrust proceedings, giving rise to the following questions:
Can the Commission outline how many eligible bidders with the relevant know-how in seeds are interested in acquiring Bayer’s vegetable seed business, but are currently precluded from making an offer due to the exclusive talks between Bayer and BASF?
By what means is the Commission safeguarding a viable competitive landscape in the market for seeds, allowing for freedom of choice for European farmers?
To what extent is the Commission liaising with the US Department of Justice in the ongoing antitrust proceedings, given that the EU and US proceedings are running on parallel tracks? »
Réponse donnée par Ms Vestager au nom de la Commission
« On 21 March 2018, the Commission conditionally approved Bayer’s plans to acquire Monsanto under the EU Merger Regulation. The approval is conditional on the divestiture of an extensive package of business assets worth over EUR 6 billion and comprising broad acre crop seeds and traits, pesticides, digital agriculture and vegetable seed activities. Bayer commits to divest its entire vegetable seed business to a purchaser currently not active in the vegetable seed industry. This will ensure that the number of global vegetable seed players will remain the same after the merger.
Under the EU Merger Regulation it is for the parties to choose and propose a suitable purchaser for a divestiture package. The Commission’s role is to verify that the proposed purchaser fulfils the purchaser requirements under the EU merger rules.
Bayer has proposed BASF as a purchaser of the entire remedy package including Bayer’s vegetable seed business. The Commission is investigating whether BASF fulfils the purchaser requirements and whether the terms of the divestiture to BASF are in line with the EU merger rules. The Commission continues to cooperate closely with the United States Department of Justice and other national competition authorities. »
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