Bayer shares rose nearly 5% on Tuesday in response to a Wall Street Journal report that the U.S. Department of Justice will approve the company’s acquisition of Monsanto, according to an article from Reuters. The Department of Justice reportedly agreed in principle to the $62.5 billion deal after Bayer indicated it would sell more seed and treatment assets to BASF and agreed to make concessions related to digital agriculture. A day earlier, shares of Monsanto reached a four-year high, closing up 6.2%, following the news.
The deal will create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market, according to Reuters. Consolidation in the agribusiness sector in recent years, including the mergers of Dow and Dupont and ChemChina and Syngenta, has alarmed environmental and farming groups. Reduced competition opens the door to price gouging warns Wenonah Hauter, executive director for advocacy group Food & Water Watch.
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