Illumina Sues EC To Block Antitrust Probe Into Grail Deal

Illumina has filed for an annulment of the European Commission’s decision to assess the proposed takeover of Grail. The maker of gene sequencing machines is trying to buy back Grail, which it had spun off, to boost its presence in the liquid biopsy market in a cash and stock deal valued between US$7 billion to US$8 billion.

The Commission accepted requests by seven European countries to review the deal under a rarely used piece of merger law in the belief “the combined entity could restrict access to or increase prices of next generation sequencers and reagents to the detriment of Grail’s rivals.”

“The European Commission’s unprecedented and untimely decision to review this procompetitive acquisition without proper engagement with the parties leaves businesses uncertain as to how the EU Merger Regulation will be applied,” said Charles Dadswell, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Illumina. “The Commission’s actions will stifle innovation, fail patients and increase healthcare costs by needlessly delaying this transaction. The acquisition will allow Illumina to bring GRAIL’s lifesaving testing to more patients, more quickly and at a lower cost.”

Illumina, which is already contending with regulatory opposition in the US, wants to annul what it sees as an “unprecedented and untimely decision to review” that it contends will “stifle innovation, fail patients and increase healthcare costs.”

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