German chemicals giant Bayer has sued Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) over the delay in approving its planned US$66bn merger with US agritech firm Monsanto.

The FAS deputy head Andrey Tsyganov announced on 9 February that the agency had extended the consideration period on the merger for six months, despite it saying in December 2017 that it expected Bayer and Monsanto to divest their seed selection technologies appropriately before March, Sputnik News wrote on 14 February.

On 13 February, FAS head Igor Artemyev informed the press that Bayer had sued the FAS over the decision to delay the approval.

FAS concluded in early November 2017 that the merger, which would result in the creation of the largest seed and agrichemical firm in the world, could lead to its increased dominance in all affected Russian markets and stop others from entering the market, said Sputnik News.

To alleviate the possible problems, FAS said at the time that Bayer and Monsanto would need to divest seed and digital agriculture technologies, particularly those related to seed selection, within three months.

Despite taking FAS to court, Bayer said in a statement that it would do “everything possible” to successfully complete the Monsanto merger in Russia and that it would continue operating in the country as normal for the time being.