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Republicans Question FTC’s Efforts To Halt Illumina’s Grail Deal

 |  September 2, 2021

Two Republican lawmakers on Thursday questioned the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) efforts to unwind life science company Illumina’s US$7.1 billion acquisition of Grail, alleging the regulator was not following a normal path in its work, reported Reuters.

Members of Congress Jim Jordan and Darrell Issa wrote in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan that agency actions related to the deal require congressional oversight, demanding documents related to the FTC’s work.

“The FTC’s approach to the Illumina-GRAIL merger departs from its typical enforcement process and raises questions about the Commission’s interference in the case,” the September 2 letter stated.

Among their complaints, the members of Congress alleged that the FTC filed for an injunction in federal court to give it time to litigate the case before the FTC’s own internal administrative court “to avoid speedily resolving novel legal issues under U.S. law in a forum – federal district court – where the FTC was more likely to lose.”

The FTC has argued that cancer test detection company Grail and its competitors rely on San Diego, California-based Illumina’s DNA sequencing technology. They alleged that Illumina’s purchase of Grail would give the company the “incentive and ability to foreclose downstream rivals.”

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