Brazil grain growers launch hotline to report Bayer’s market practices

Concerns remain in the aftermath of Bayer’s purchase of rival Monsanto

Sao Paulo | Reuters – A Brazilian grain growers association has launched a hotline to encourage farmers to report practices on the part of Germany’s Bayer SA that potentially could be anti-competitive, according to a statement sent to Reuters April 23.

Aprosoja Brasil, which called the initiative “an awareness campaign,” aims to galvanize farmers to report possibly unfair practices in the market for seeds, farm chemicals and sale of genetically modified (GM) seed technology carried out by Bayer.

The statement said Aprosoja Brasil was allowed to participate as a third party in Brazilian antitrust regulator Cade’s investigation launched during Bayer’s purchase of Monsanto. That merger was announced in September 2016 and closed in February 2018 in Brazil.

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Bayer said it strictly complies with all conditions in the agreement with Cade to approve its acquisition of Monsanto. Fulfilment of the terms is being monitored by an international trustee appointed by Cade, Bayer said.

Aprosoja said Cade approved the deal with several conditions aimed at ensuring fair competition. The association said it was responsible, as a third party in the proceedings, for overseeing the company’s activities for the next five years to ensure compliance.

Cade has opened an investigation into how Bayer collects its royalties in Brazil, including royalties from a patent that has possibly expired, Aprosoja said.

Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of soybeans, with farmers using GM seed technology to plant an estimated 93 per cent of the country’s soy-growing area, according to Aprosoja Brasil estimates.

Cade did not have an immediate comment on the conditions imposed to approve Bayer’s $66 billion tie-up with Monsanto.

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