EU antitrust regulators set July 22 deadline for Illumina, Grail deal

FILE PHOTO: The offices of gene sequencing company Illumina Inc are shown in San Diego, California
·1 min read

(Corrects JUNE 17 story to read July 22 (not July 27))

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators will rule by July 22 whether to clear Illumina Inc's proposed $7.1 billion acquisition of cancer test maker Grail Inc, a European Commission filing showed on Thursday.

U.S. life sciences company Illumina, which is also challenging the EU watchdog's decision to review the deal even though it does not meet the EU revenue criteria, filed for EU approval on Wednesday.

The company has said it will pursue a dual-track tactic, launching litigation against the Commission while following the EU merger process.

The EU competition enforcer can clear the deal with or without demanding concessions. It can open a four-month investigation if it has serious concerns.

It has said the combined entity could restrict access to, or increase prices of, next-generation sequencers and reagents to the detriment of Grail rivals in genomic cancer tests.

Illumina announced the deal to buy out investors including Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos last September. It spun off Grail as a separate business four years ago but remained the company's largest shareholder.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Jason Neely)

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