DowDuPont Update: EU Takes Closer Look at Merger

Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. face months of haggling with European Union antitrust regulators who opened an in-depth probe into the duo’s plans to create the world’s biggest chemicals company, reports Stephanie Bodoni with Bloomberg News.

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The European Commission said Thursday it needs to further probe “whether the deal may reduce competition in areas such as crop protection, seeds and certain petrochemicals.” The Brussels-based authority extended its deadline to rule on the tie-up until Dec. 20.

“The livelihood of farmers depends on access to seeds and crop protection at competitive prices,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said in an e-mailed statement. “We need to make sure that the proposed merger does not lead to higher prices or less innovation for these products.”

While the EU’s decision is a blow, the chemical makers said they continue to expect the deal to be wrapped up by the end of the year after winning regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

Head on over to Bloomberg.com to check out Bodoni’s full report.

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