Caleb Burns Comments on Impact of Lobbying Efforts on Bayer-Monsanto Merger
Caleb P. Burns, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted in a September 15 Huffington Post article about how advocacy efforts may impact the closing of the merger of two giant agrichemical corporations, both of which have high-value lobbying arms and active congressional campaign PACs.
In what is reportedly the largest deal of the year, St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. has agreed to be acquired by German conglomerate Bayer AG for $66 billion. The transaction faces intense scrutiny from federal agencies—including a likely antitrust review by the U.S. Department of Justice—and international regulators.
The article notes that Bayer and Monsanto are no strangers to U.S. politics. In this election cycle alone, the two companies’ PACs have spent a combined $1.2 million so far. In addition, the companies each spend millions of dollars on lobbying efforts every year.
Mr. Burns pointed out that it’s not unusual for congressional hearings or investigations to be held for publicly controversial transactions—and lobbyists can play a key role in that process. Also, because such deals—and the applicable antitrust rules—are very complicated, Mr. Burns said he’d anticipate that Bayer and Monsanto would want to explain the subtleties and key components to lawmakers and their staff.
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