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Australia's competition watchdog says it will not oppose Dow-DuPont merger

AUSTRALIA (From news reports) -- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has said it will not oppose the proposed merger of Dow Chemical Company and DuPont.

The ACCC began an investigation into the effect the $145 billion global merger would have on the Australian market last year, saying it had competition concerns over the merger of the two chemicals companies. The body singled out canola seed as a particular area of concern.

But on Thursday the commission said its concerns had been addressed by the March European Commission decision to clear the merger on the condition DuPont sold around half of its existing pesticide business and Dow sold two of its petrochemical manufacturing facilities.

ACCC commissioner Mick Keogh said: "The ACCC previously had concerns the proposed merger may substantially lessen competition in the supply of certain insecticides and materials science products and reduce competitive tension in research and development of new crop protection products. The ACCC considers that these competition concerns will be addressed by the global divestments and, subject to those occurring, will not oppose the merger in Australia."

The ACCC said that while canola seed is not a part of the divestment proposals, further information from market participants has "assured the ACCC that the presence of alternative canola breeders will be enough to maintain competition".


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