The European Commission approved the proposed $130 billion merger of US-based chemical companies Dow and DuPont “conditional in particular on the divestiture of major parts of DuPont’s global pesticide business, including its global R&D organisation.”
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Pesticides are products that matter – to farmers, consumers and the environment.
“We need effective competition in this sector so companies are pushed to develop products that are ever safer for people and better for the environment.
“Our decision today ensures that the merger between Dow and DuPont does not reduce price competition for existing pesticides or innovation for safer and better products in the future.”
The Commission said it had concerns that the merger as notified would have reduced competition on price and choice in a number of markets for existing pesticides and would have reduced innovation.
“The commitments submitted by Dow and DuPont address these concerns in full,” said the Commission.
“The parties will remove the overlap in markets, where concerns were raised, by divesting the relevant DuPont pesticide businesses.
“They will also divest almost the entirety of DuPont’s global R&D organisation.
“The Commission concluded that the divestment package enables a buyer to sustainably replace DuPont’s competitive effect in these markets and continue to innovate, for the benefit of European farmers and consumers.
“As regards certain petrochemical products, where both companies are important players, the parties will divest relevant assets in Dow’s petrochemical business to preserve effective competition.”