MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) plans take its final decision regarding the approval of the merger of Germany’s chemical concern Bayer and Monsanto Company in April 2018, head of the antitrust watchdog Igor Artemyev told reporters.
"Some progress has been made recently - China and the European Commission approved the deal, now Russia and India are yet to approve it. So far we plan it in April (taking the final decision on the deal - TASS)," he said.
He added that on Monday the FAS was to hold next round of talks with the companies.
"The talks are difficult, but what is important is that they are in progress and we are trying to find common ground," Artemyev said.
In September 2016, Bayer and Monsanto signed a final agreement on the merger. The German company agreed to buy the US herbicide manufacturer and genetically modified seeds Monsanto. The sum of the deal totaled $66 bln.
In November 2016, the FAS arrived at a conclusion when reviewing the deal in Russia that the transaction could create significant risks for competition on the Russian market. The Russian antimonopoly regulator said that it would endorse the Russian part of the deal if Buyer complies with requirements, including the technology transfer in the selection sphere.
In November 2017, the Russian antitrust watchdog extended consideration of the deal for six months.
In February, Bayer filed a lawsuit with the Moscow Arbitration Court demanding that the FAS decision to extend consideration of the deal should be declared illegal. The third parties include Monsanto, Monsanto International and Monsanto Rus.
On March 14, 2018, the court decided to postpone the preliminary hearing on the lawsuit of the German company until April 11.
In January 2018, head of the FAS Igor Artemyev met with the management of Bayer and the parties decided to continue talks on the deal.