Sector News

Illumina hit by EU with maximum €432M fine for Grail acquisition

July 23, 2023
Life sciences

Illumina announced in August 2021 that it had completed its proposed $8 billion acquisition of Grail, a month after the commission opened an investigation into the transaction.

In September 2022, the commission blocked the transaction over concerns that it would have significant anticompetitive effects, stifle innovation and reduce choice in the emerging market for blood-based early cancer detection tests.

EU regulations that require merging companies to receive the commission’s prior approval are “a cornerstone of the European merger control system” that allows the European Commission to protect the competitive landscape, the regulator said in a statement.

“Illumina strategically weighed up the risk of a gun-jumping fine against the risk of having to pay a high break-up fee if it failed to takeover GRAIL. It also considered the potential profits it could obtain by jumping the gun, even if it were ultimately forced to divest GRAIL,” the commission said.

It levied the maximum fine, equal to 10% of Illumina’s annual revenue, “with the aim of deterring such conduct,” the commission said.

Illumina said it would fight the fine. READ MORE

By Susan Kelly


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