The Financial Times reported that the ruling — with dropped the case without prejudice — allows the EU to investigate the merger while the deal remains blocked. In April the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition announced today that it will review Illumina’s proposed $8 billion acquisition of Grail.
Illumina and Grail agreed this spring to postpone the planned purchase until after Sept. 20 while the FTC challenged the deal. The company in March stated that it disagreed with and will oppose the FTC’s challenge to the acquisition of Grail, a cancer-detection startup that spun out from the company four years ago.
Grail is one of several companies competing to develop liquid biopsy tests, which rely on DNA sequencing of blood or other bodily fluids to detect cancer early. Illumina provides DNA sequencing and array-based technologies. Regulators worry that Grail’s competitors in the multi-cancer early detection test space have too much reliance on Illumina technology.
According to the FT report, Illumina CEO Francis deSouza claims that the U.S. regulators are employing “time-wasting” maneuvers and that the companies want the FTC to operate with a sense of urgency to get the case to trial.
Additionally, FT quoted deSouza as saying Illumina is cooperating while pursuing the deal in Europe as well.
The FTC did not immediately respond to request for comment and/or further information. This story may be updated.