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EU Is Concerned Illumina Deal For Grail Could Hurt Innovation

 |  July 22, 2021

US life sciences company Illumina’s proposed acquisition of cancer test maker Grail could curb innovation and competition, EU antitrust regulators warned Thursday as they opened a full-scale investigation.

Illumina announced the $8 billion cash-and-stock deal for startup Grail last September, buying out investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to regain control of a company it spun out five years ago. 

Grail makes a non-invasive, early detection biopsy test to screen for many kinds of cancers using DNA sequencing.

The EU executive, which acts as the competition enforcer for the 27-country bloc, said its preliminary investigation showed that Illumina could have an economic incentive to block Grail’s cancer detection rivals.

“It is very important to preserve market conditions, allowing the best solutions to emerge for the tests to ultimately reach the market at affordable prices,” Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

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