The company said the deal would make it the leader in over-the-counter products in North and Latin America. Bayer already has a major non-prescription division whose brands include Aleve, Alka-Seltzer and One-A-Day vitamins. Bayer also makes prescription drugs, industrial materials and farm chemicals.
Bayer AG said the combined business would be headquartered at Bayer's site in Whippany, N.J. Merck's consumer business has about 2,250 employees and is based in New Jersey.
Merck is headquartered in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and is different from Germany drug company Merck KGaA.
Bayer said it also has entered an agreement with Merck to cooperate on developing and selling drugs known as sGC modulators, which have potential for treating heart failure and pulmonary hypertension. Merck would initially paying Bayer $1 billion under the and further payments contingent on sales.