Illumina wins FTC GRAIL case in $7.1 billion deal

Illumina said Thursday that an administrative law ruled in the DNA sequencing firm’s favor in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) case challenging the multibillion-dollar acquisition of cancer detection company GRAIL.

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The FTC sought to challenge the acquisition in 2021, arguing Illumina’s purchase of GRAIL, which it had previously spun off in 2016, would hurt innovation in the US market for multi-cancer early detection tests. Illumina announced the acquisition of the cancer detection company in 2020 and completed it roughly a year later for $7.1 billion amid pending regulatory challenges.

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In a press release, Illumina said the administrative law judge “rejected the FTC’s position that the deal would adversely affect competition in a putative market for multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests.”

“The Bureau of Competition is disappointed with this decision,” Holly Vedova, the Bureau of Competition director at the FTC, said in a statement to FOX Business. “We are reviewing the opinion and evaluating our options. We remain incredibly grateful to our talented staff, who put on a strong case.”

The Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, Aug. 29, 2020. (Reuters/Andrew Kelly/File)

“As we’ve stated from the outset, this transaction is procompetitive, will advance innovation, lower health care costs, and save lives. We are pleased that, after considering the evidence, the ALJ has reached the same conclusion,” Illumina’s general counsel , Charles Dadswell, said in a statement.

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The European Commission’s investigation into Illumina’s acquisition of GRAIL remains pending.

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