Corporate Watchdog Raises Alarm About Proposed Bayer-Monsanto Merger, as Monsanto Accepts Controversial Bid
Former Justice Department Officials Argue that Bayer-Monsanto Merger Would Violate Critical Anti-Trust Protections
500,000 Worldwide Oppose Bayer-Monsanto Merger
This morning, Bayer, German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer announced that Monsanto accepted its bid to buy the U.S. seed supplier for $66 billion, in a merger that would effectively create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals.
In reaction to the announcement, Anne Isakowitsch, Senior Campaigner with SumOfUs, an international corporate watchdog, issued the following statement:
“The merger between Bayer and Monsanto is a five-alarm threat to our food supply and to farmers around the world. Now that Monsanto has accepted Bayer’s controversial bid, we need to step up global efforts to stop this illegal merger.
“This new mega corporation would be the world’s biggest seed maker and pesticide company, defying important antitrust protections and giving it unacceptable control over critical aspects of our food supply -- undermining consumer choice and the freedom and stability of farmers worldwide.
“More than 500,000 people around the world have spoken out against this dangerous deal that has the potential to usher in a new era of sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides. U.S. and EU regulators should recognize the unique threats posed by a Bayer-Monsanto merger and move swiftly to reject this proposal.”
In August, SumOfUs released a legal opinion, written by two former Justice Department officials from the Antitrust Division, that argued that a merger between Bayer and Monsanto would violate the Clayton Act, a law enacted by Congress to curb anticompetitive business practices.
READ THE LEGAL OPINION HERE: www.bayermonsantomerger.com
According to the white paper, a Bayer-Monsanto merger would also be in direct violation of a 2008 court order, where Monsanto was forced to divest itself of certain cottonseed and cotton breeding assets, which were sold to Bayer. If the merger proceeds, Monsanto would re-acquire these anti-competitive traits, thereby violating the US Department of Justice’s judgement. SumOfUs’ white paper also argued that:
The merger would eliminate direct competition between two of the largest players in the traited seed sector, with direct consequences for seed development, herbicide markets, and innovative and open research and development.
The merger will mean the new Bayer-Monsanto conglomerate will control nearly 70% of the cotton acreage in the United States – unacceptably high by antitrust standards. It would also have unacceptable market concentration in wide swaths of commercial seed development and sales for other commonly used varieties, including traited canola, soybeans, and corn developed in North America.
The new corporation would likely lead to higher input prices, with less choice and higher food prices for consumers, and fewer non-biotechnology options available to farmers and consumers.
More than 500,000 SumOfUs members around the world have signed onto a petition opposing the potential merger of Monsanto and Bayer.
VIEW THE PETITION HERE: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/stop-the-bayer-monsanto-mega-merger
FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
SumOfUs is a global consumer watchdog. We mobilize consumers, investors, and workers to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our economy.