The American Soybean Association (ASA) responded to an announcement today from Bayer and Monsanto that the two companies have signed an acquisition agreement under which Bayer will purchase Monsanto. In a statement, ASA President Richard Wilkins, a soybean farmer from Greenwood, Del., noted that the association will first and foremost evaluate the acquisition with respect to its impact on soybean farmers:
“With respect to any merger and acquisition affecting soybean farmers, ASA is concerned primarily with how these affect the farm input costs of farmers, as well as how they impact innovation, research and competition in the marketplace.
“ASA intends to closely analyze the potential impacts of this proposed merger on soybean farmers to provide comments to the companies and U.S. regulatory authorities that must approve any acquisition, including the Justice Department. ASA will evaluate how the Bayer/Monsanto acquisition would impact research and product development, innovation, offerings to farmers, and competition. If our analysis identifies areas of concern, ASA would urge divestiture of any segments of the proposed merger where competition would be significantly impacted, or disapproval of the merger. “