On March 30, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit to stop Illumina Inc.’s proposed US$7.1 billion acquisition of Grail. The FTC alleged that the acquisition would provide Illumina with both the incentive and ability to disadvantage Grail’s competitors by raising their costs and foreclosing them from accessing Illumina’s critical gene sequencing equipment. This is one of the few vertical merger cases that has been challenged by federal antitrust authorities in decades. It will likely not be the last.
This client update reviews some of the details of this federal antitrust challenge and related implications.