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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Approves Aventis

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- European Union antitrust regulators have cleared pharmaceutical giants Hoechst AG of Germany and Rh?ne-Poulenc SA of France to merge to form a company called Aventis, after the companies agreed to divest in areas where they might gain an unfairly dominant position, the EU said Tuesday.

The companies agreed to spin off activities in chemicals and animal health and to surrender licenses on a number of products where an overlap risked creating an anti-competitive advantage, the European Commission said.

Aventis is set to become the world's second largest pharmaceutical company behind Merck and Co. and the world's largest in the plant protection business.