Illumina Hires Sidley, DLA Piper To Lobby Against FTC Merger Challenge

Illumina ramped up its US lobbying spend in Washington, DC, in recent months, hiring law firms Sidley Austin and DLA Piper to advocate for the biotechnology company as it prepares to contest a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) antitrust complaint at trial in August, according to Reuters.

The FTC’s administrative complaint, filed in March, said San Diego-based Illumina’s proposed US$7.1 billion acquisition of GRAIL would harm innovation in the market for “multi-cancer early detection” tests and drive up prices. GRAIL, which makes a non-invasive biopsy test, and its competitors rely on Illumina technology, the agency stated.

Companies facing regulatory or enforcement scrutiny often boost outside advocacy efforts. Illumina spent US$360,000 on US lobbying in the second quarter, including US$150,000 for Sidley Austin government affairs services and US$40,000 for DLA Piper, which was hired in July. The firms stated in disclosures they were lobbying in Congress to support Illumina’s acquisition of GRAIL.

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