Margrethe Vestager says the Bayer-Monsanto deal met the Commission’s competition concerns in full.
Photo: Friends of Europe/Creative Commons
Commission agrees to Bayer buying Monsanto, Zuck breaks silence, Poland angry and Farage fishy. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Thursday 22 March.
Bayer-Monsanto deal approved
The European Commission has agreed to the acquisition of Monsanto by German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, under certain conditions. The transaction creates the largest global integrated seed and pesticide player, says a report by AgriBusiness Global. In a statement released on Wednesday, competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the decision was taken approval “because the parties’ remedies, worth well over €6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full.” The deal is contingent upon Bayer selling off its seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture package to BASF. “Bayer will only be allowed to implement the takeover of Monsanto after the Commission has assessed and approved the sale of the remedy package to BASF,” said Vestager
Zuckerberg admits to mistakes
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a statement using the social media platform to comment on the Cambridge Analytica case that has haunted the company since it broke days ago. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg wrote. He said that Facebook had already taken important actions to prevent such a data breach from happening again. “We also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it,” he added.
Poland angry at EU’s “inequality”
Poland’s foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz attacked what the country sees as European Union double standards over its treatment of member states. Reuters reports that he was addressing the Polish parliament the day after the EU threatened to take punitive action against Poland over its court reforms, which it says tighten state controls over the judiciary. “Nothing hurts the idea of European integration more than the actual inequality of its member states before the law,” Czaputowicz said.
In a publicity stunt to call attention to EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, Brexit campaigners including Nigel Farage flung crates of haddock into the river Thames on Wednesday. The campaigners were protesting the transition deal that will keep the UK in the CFP after it formally leaves the EU on 29 March next year. Fishermen say CFP quotas force them to discard perfectly good catch. The controversy was highlighted by British chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “Fish Fight” campaign launched in 2010. “It’s absolutely tragic, what a waste,” said Farage, who was on the European Parliament’s committee on fisheries, but allegedly only attended 1 of its 42 meetings while he was a member.