Tue 02/06/2018 17:43 PM
Event Driven Takeaways
  • DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim is heading to Europe next week, where he plans to meet with the heads of competition authorities in Brussels and Germany.
  • Monsanto’s merger with Bayer, specifically topics relating to commitments made by Bayer for European Commission approval, “may come up,” Delrahim told Event Driven. The transaction, however, is not explicitly on the trip’s agenda and the travel has been planned “for awhile.”

DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim plans to meet next week with the heads of the competition authorities in Brussels and Germany, where the matter of commitments made by Bayer for European Commission antitrust approval “may come up,” he told Event Driven.

Speaking today at an event hosted by George Washington University Law School, Delrahim said he is “heading out to Brussels and Germany next week to engage with” his competition counterparts in these jurisdictions, EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Andreas Mundt, president of Germany’s Bundeskartellamt.

On Monday, the EC disclosed in its case file for Monsanto/Bayer that Bayer had submitted commitments on Feb. 2 to resolve any remaining antitrust issues with the deal, extending the commission’s deadline for a decision to April 5. As Event Driven previously reported, the DOJ held a meeting two weeks ago to discuss Bayer’s deal to divest certain of its seed and herbicide lines to BASF, during which senior staff gave a favorable response to the deal.

Speaking with Event Driven after the event, Delrahim said that while the topic of Monsanto/Bayer may be raised in Europe, it was not explicitly on the trip’s agenda and that the travel had been planned “for awhile.”

Additionally, Delrahim will participate in a panel "Competition policy in a globalized and digitalized world - Challenges of today and tomorrow," at a Bundeskartellamt event on Feb. 22, according to the invitation for the event. His co-panelists will include Frank Montag, partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Chairman of the Competition Lawyers' Association; Isabelle de Silva, President of France’s main competition authority, Autorité de la concurrence; and Achim Wambach, Chairman of Germany’s Monopolies Commission. The panel will be moderated by Konrad Ost, Vice President of the Bundeskartellamt.

This has been a busy travel month for Delrahim, who just last week returned from China where he spoke at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

The DOJ declined to comment on the details of the trip in time for this story’s publication. Neither Bayer nor Monsanto could be reached for comment in time for publication.

--Matt Tracy and Nat Baker