EU anti-trust watchdog probes planned Dow-DuPont merger

BRUSSELS – The European Union’s anti-trust watchdog is probing a planned merger between Dow and DuPont amid concern it could harm competition in the crop protection, seeds and petrochemicals sectors.

The EU Commission polices competition in Europe and it fears the merger of the two U.S. firms could corner the market in herbicides, insecticides and some products used in packaging and adhesives.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Thursday that “we need to make sure that the proposed merger does not lead to higher prices or less innovation for these products.”

She said “the livelihood of farmers depends on access to seeds and crop protection at competitive prices.”

The Commission says it is co-operating with anti-trust authorities in the U.S., Brazil and Canada given the global scope of the companies’ activities.