Illumina said it is working to persuade European antitrust regulators to approve its acquisition of liquid biopsy company Grail, and will fight any pushback in court.
In an emailed statement on Monday, the company wrote that it will continue its efforts to persuade the European Commission that the merger is “pro-competitive and in the best interests of patients in Europe and elsewhere.”
“If necessary, we will appeal the final decision to the General Court,” the company added.
European Union regulators will likely block Illumina’s $8 billion purchase of Grail, according to a Reuters report, citing unidentified “people familiar” with the matter. The European Commission is concerned that concessions offered by the company are not enough to alleviate antitrust concerns about the deal.
Reuters reported that Illumina, which specializes in gene sequencing, had offered competitors royalty-free licenses for some of its patents and pledged not to pursue patent lawsuits in Europe against Chinese genomics rival BGI. Those concessions may not be sufficient to win over regulators, who say that Illumina jumped the gun by closing its acquisition of Grail in August of 2021, before receiving antitrust approval. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission is also challenging the deal.
In July, Illumina failed to block an investigation of the deal after Europe’s second-highest court maintained that the European Commission’s antitrust case was legal. Shortly after, the European Commission filed a statement of objections saying the companies breached EU merger regulations when they entered into a holding structure in August.
The companies have the opportunity to send written responses and request hearings to present their case to the antitrust regulator, analysts with SVB Securities wrote in a July 19 research note.
The European Commission is scheduled to make a decision on Sept. 12. If EU regulators conclude that the companies violated their obligations with the deal, the companies could face a fine of up to 10% of their global revenue, and Illumina could potentially be forced to sell Grail.
Illumina’s management has said it plans to appeal decisions that go against the company’s favor, potentially starting a lengthy process that could last until 2025 with no guarantee of a positive outcome, the analysts wrote.
Update: This article has been updated with a statement from Illumina.