FTC loses bid to block Illumina's $7 billion buyout of Grail
Genetic testing company Illumina on Thursday prevailed over the Federal Trade Commission in an administrative court trial over its $7.1 billion acquisition of Grail, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based developer of liquid biopsies for early cancer detection. Illumina had founded Grail, but spun it off in 2017.
Why it matters: This is a stinging loss for the FTC, particularly given that the case was heard by its in-house court, and a huge win for Illumina's decision to complete the merger in spite of ongoing litigation.
Look ahead: An European Commission decision on the merger is expected next week, with Illumina disclosing last week that it's reserved $453 million in "legal contingencies" for a negative ruling.
- Moreover, Brussels could force Illumina to forfeit up to 10% of revenue (including Grail revenue) if found to have violated rules against completing mergers prior to final EC approval.
- Also, expect the FTC to appeal.