The European Commission has prohibited, under the EU Merger Regulation, the implemented acquisition of GRAIL by Illumina. The merger would have stifled innovation, and reduced choice in the emerging market for cancer detection tests based on next generation sequencing (“NGS”) technologies .
The decision is interesting for several reasons: not the least because the transaction did not meet the turnover thresholds to be notified to the Commission, nor was it notified in any Member State. Instead the transaction came to the Commission on referral from France, Belgium, Greece, Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway on basis of its effect on trade within the single market and the preliminary view that it threatened to significantly affect competition within the territory of the Member States that made the referral request – A referral was considered appropriate because GRAIL's competitive significance was not reflected in its turnover.
More information available here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_5364
For more information, please contact:
Malin Albert (Partner)
Sofia Falkner (Partner)