Dow and DuPont given backing by Margrethe Vestager and European Commission for $130bn merger

William Turvill
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Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager's concerns focused on pesticides (Source: Getty)

The European Commission has given its backing to the $130bn (£103bn) merger of US chemicals companies Dow Chemical and DuPont.

The approval is conditional on the sale of major parts of DuPont’s global pesticide business, including its global research and development arm.

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DuPont said in a statement that today marks a “regulatory milestone [which] is a significant step toward closing the merger transaction”.

“Pesticides are products that matter – to farmers, consumers and the environment,” competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

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.

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In conducting its investigation into the deal, which was announced in December 2015, the European Commission had identified three main concerns: that the merger could significantly reduce competition in pesticide markets; significantly reduce innovation competition for pesticides; and significantly reduce competition in petrochemical products.

There are two other mega-mergers in the industry that have yet to receive European Commission backing: ChemChina’s $43bn takeover of Syngenta; and Bayer’s $66bn acquisition of Monsanto.

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