Bayer AG’s possible takeover of Monsanto Co. isn’t likely to raise significant antitrust hurdles by itself, but it could intensify global scrutiny of the handful of companies striking megadeals that would consolidate the crop-chemicals industry.As the farm economy gets tighter, we'll probably see the seed and chemical field brought down to three major players. It won't be good for farmers, but what generally is.
Even if Bayer could win approval to purchase Monsanto, regulators may slow down all the deals as they assess how they would affect the overall market. Competition authorities are already investigating the proposed $130 billion merger between Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co., while national security officials in the U.S. weigh China National Chemical Corp.’s bid to acquire Syngenta AG of Switzerland for $43 billion. Lawmakers in the U.S. were quick to raise concerns about both the Dow-Dupont and ChemChina-Syngenta tie-ups....
A Bayer-Monsanto tie-up would create the world’s biggest supplier of seeds and farm chemicals. Monsanto, which has a market value of almost $40 billion, is the world’s largest seed maker and also makes Roundup, its blockbuster herbicide. Bayer, which invented aspirin, makes herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. The combined firm would control about 32 percent of the global crop-chemicals market.