The European Commission has started an in-depth investigation of Bayer's planned $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds group Monsanto, saying it was worried about competition in various pesticide and seeds markets. Laura Frykberg reports.
Combining Bayer and Monsanto.. Would create the world's largest seed and pesticide company.. And that - according to the European Commission.. Could be a potential recipe for disaster.. SOUNDBITE (English) OANDA SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "Things like the seed business is an area they will look at, they'll also be looking at pesticides herbicides in these areas of the business where there is a lot of overlap between the two companies and where a combination of the two would create quite a dangerous situation in which they have this kind of monopoly." The commission's looking into whether the $66 billion merger... Would result in higher prices, lower quality and less choice for consumers. Under anti-competition laws - it has the authority to stop the deal altogether... Although past cases suggest that's unlikely. SOUNDBITE (English) OANDA SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "As we've seen from previous deals of this nature they won't necessarily want to block it. They're going to find ways to make it feasible in such a way that it doesn't have negative implications for competition for prices for competitiveness and for innovation." Previous concessions include when ChemChina had to sell a large chunk of its subsidiary.. In order to takeover Syngenta. The commission says Bayer has offered to give up some assets... But so far -it's not enough... It doesn't have long to decide if it wants to make any more. The commission makes its final ruling in January.