• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

USA Update: EU fines US firm Illumina USD 475 million for jumping gun on buyout of cancer-screening company Grail

ByTheCurrentScenario

Jul 12, 2023
USA Update: EU fines US firm Illumina USD 475 million for jumping gun on buyout of cancer-screening company GrailGet the latest USA update: EU fines Illumina USD 475M for prematurely acquiring cancer-screening company Grail.

 

TCSN
WORLD DESK

The European Union on
Wednesday slapped a USD 475 million fine on US biotech giant Illumina for
buying out cancer-screening company Grail without the approval of the 27-nation
bloc’s antitrust watchdog. Illumina had announced an USD 7.1 billion
acquisition of Grail in 2020 but the European Commission, the EU’s executive
arm, said it broke the bloc’s merger rules by moving ahead to complete the deal
without its consent. Last year, the EU announced it was blocking the merger on
competition grounds. “If companies merge before our clearance, they
breach our rules. Illumina and Grail knowingly and deliberately

did so by
implementing their tie-up as we were still investigating,” said EU antitrust
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “This is a very serious infringement.” The
commission said companies almost invariably play by the rules and wait to
complete an acquisition or merger until antitrust authorities have cleared it.
Illumina is a major supplier of next-generation sequencing systems for genetic
and genomic analysis, while Grail is a health company developing blood tests to
try to catch cancer early. The European Commission argued at the
time that the buyout would enable Illumina to squeeze out competitors and
inhibit fair competition by acquiring too dominant a position in the market.
Only last month, Illumina CEO and director, Francis deSouza, resigned after the
company’s chairman had been voted out by shareholders. It follows a monthslong
heated battle with activist investor Carl Icahn, including the difficulties
involving the Grail acquistion.

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