UCL Faculty of Laws


Ioannis Lianos testifies at the German Parliament (Bundestag) on the Bayer/Monsanto merger

11 July 2018

Professor Ioannis Lianos was invited as an expert in the discussion at the German Parliament on the Bayer/Monsanto merger

Ioannis Lianos

In his submitted report, Professor Lianos argues that the competition assessment and the remedies’ package put forward by the European Commission suffer from major flaws, in terms of prior beliefs, assumptions, overall design and interpretation of the provisions of the European Merger Control Regulation and the EU Treaties. 

The merger between Bayer and Monsanto will certainly negatively affect innovation competition in a number of product markets, and more broadly the direction of innovation towards a GMO and chemical-centred model of agriculture that contravenes to the EU’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. 

The competition law remedy put forward by the European Commission, the creation of a fourth integrated platform under BASF, seems a quite risky bet, first over the ability and incentive of BASF to compete intensively with the other three integrated platforms, to the extent that the industry is marked by various forms of contractual consolidation and stealth concentration through common ownership, and secondly, over the way the current “integrated” platforms market configuration will enable new General Purpose Technologies, such as Big Data and gene-editing, to disrupt the competitive landscape in the industry and offer alternative directions for the development of innovation, that would be more in phase with the aims of the EU.

Watch the hearing (Professor Lianos from around 32 min 15)
Read about the hearing in the media