Sigma-Aldrich, not Merck gave misleading info in deal review, EU says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Sigma-Aldrich provided incorrect and misleading information during an antitrust review of its 2015 takeover by Merck KGaA MRCG.DE, EU regulators said on Wednesday as they dropped the German company from their investigation.

The European Commission said it had sent a supplementary statement of objections or charge sheet to Sigma-Aldrich. The Commission can fine companies up to 1% of their global turnover for such offences.

The issue focused on Sigma’s innovation project for chemicals, which formed part of the EU watchdog’s review of the deal with Merck.

“The Commission preliminarily concludes that only Sigma breached the EU Merger Regulation by providing incorrect and misleading information to the Commission intentionally or at least by negligence,” the EU competition enforcer said.

It said the supplementary charge sheet replaced a 2017 document which stated that Sigma intentionally and Merck negligently provided incorrect and misleading information.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle