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Agribusiness mega-merger gets EU’s thumbs up

The European Commission has greenlit the €54-billion takeover of American agrochemical company Monsanto by German chemical firm Bayer, dismaying environmental campaigners.

The Commission approved the purchase on the condition that Bayer take steps to ensure there would be no loss of competition in the global seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture industries. Bayer will have to sell off some of its activities, including its plant seeds and traits R&D, to rival company BASF, the Commission said on 21 March.

Nevertheless, the left-aligned GUE/NGL group of MEPs said that the decision marked a “truly sad day for the EU”, as it would give three companies control over two-thirds of the global production of pesticides and other agro-chemicals.

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