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ANALYSIS: EU Wins First Round in Embattled Illumina-GRAIL Deal

July 21, 2022, 9:00 AM

When biotech company Illumina Inc. closed its $7.1 billion merger with GRAIL Inc. in August of last year, the merger was under investigation by the European Union’s Competition Commission and was facing a Federal Trade Commission administrative enforcement action to block the deal.

But Illumina believed had solid arguments against enforcement both in the EU and the US—and it needed to close the deal in the face of a looming contractual deadline. So Illumina closed the merger, taking a chance that it could face down regulator displeasure and wind up keeping GRAIL, another biotech company.

That risk doesn’t appear to be ...