FTC Rejects $7 Billion Merger of Illuminia and Grail

In the latest antitrust case the Federal Trade Commission rejected Illumina’s $7 billion deal to acquire Grail Inc. stating that the acquisition of the cancer test developer would hurt competition and inevitably increase prices in an industry where speed and ease of access are critical to human health.

Illumina is a leading company in developing machines for gene sequencing which is a critical tool in testing for cancer within blood samples. A logical next step for the company would be to move into testing in addition to manufacturing the required machinery, however, the FTC called for the merger to be disbanded despite the deal already being approved by an administrative law judge’s ruling.

This is a clear sign that the FTC is trying to take a more aggressive stance on deal-making throughout the United States. Illumina will not go quietly as the company has already announced that it will take the case to federal court and the FTC’s decision will likely be put on hold pending the appeal.

Source: Wall Street Journal