European Union antitrust regulators on Friday opened an in-depth investigation into state-owned Chinese chemicals group ChemChina’s $43 billion bid for Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta, China’s biggest-ever foreign acquisition, Reuters reports. The Commission said the merger could harm competition as Syngenta and ChemChina, through its agrichemical subsidiary Adama Agricultural Solutions, had overlapping portfolios in the production of crop protection products like herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators. “This deal would lead to the combination of a leading crop protection company with one of its main generic competitors. Therefore we need to carefully assess whether the proposed merger would lead to higher prices or a reduced choice for farmers,” said Margrethe Vestager, EU Competition Commissioner. The Commission will decide by March 15 whether to approve the deal.
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