EU Investigating Syngenta's Bid For Monsanto Unit

BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union regulators say they need more time to investigate Swiss biotechnology company Syngenta's $160 million (€129 million) bid for Monsanto's sunflower seed business, delaying its approval deadline until Oct. 26.

The European Commission says the deal could cause antitrust concerns for sunflower seeds by knocking out one major market player.

It says this could hike prices for farmers and reduce choice. It also sees the risk of competition disappearing for sunflower seed treatment products.

The EU's executive can block company takeovers but rarely does so. It often urges companies to make changes to the deal -- such as selling off units or promising to avoid some business behavior.

St. Louis-based Monsanto is the world's biggest seed maker.

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