The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the US$62.5bn merger of Bayer and Monsanto, set to create the world’s largest single player in the seeds and pesticides business.
As part of the approval, Monsanto’s Indian subsidiary, Monsanto Holdings Pvt Ltd, would have to divest its 26% holding in Indian seeds firm Mahyco Monsanto Biotech India, reported Business Standard on 22 May.
According to Bayer, the CCI also required the merged company to maintain non-exclusive distribution channels and a policy of non-exclusive licensing of GM and non-GM traits currently commercialised or due to be introduced in India.
“The company will also have to grant non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sub licensable, royalty bearing licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to its digital farming products and platforms commercialised in India,” the CCI decreed.
Monsanto was previously active in the GM cotton seed sector in India, but had ceased making new investments due to the Indian government restricting GM seed prices and trait fees in the country, said Business Standard.
The Bayer-Monsanto merger has already been approved either completely or with conditions by Brazil, China, the EU and Russia.
It was still awaiting the green light in Canada and the USA but, in the latter, the Department of Justice had reached an agreement in principle with Bayer and Monsanto, Reuters and Wall Street Journal reported in April.