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Exclusive-Illumina remedies on Grail bid unconvincing to EU antitrust regulators, sources say – Metro US

Exclusive-Illumina remedies on Grail bid unconvincing to EU antitrust regulators, sources say

FILE PHOTO: Buildings on campus at the world headquarters of
FILE PHOTO: Buildings on campus at the world headquarters of Illumina are shown in San Diego

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. life sciences company Illumina’s offer to cut prices and allow rivals continued access to its technologies has “yet to convince” EU antitrust regulators scrutinising its $8 billion cash-and-stock bid for Grail Inc, people familiar with the matter said.

Such doubts could mean that Illumina may have to sweeten its package of proposed remedies if it wants to win EU approval for the acquisition of the cancer detection test maker which it completed last August but is keeping as a separate company prior to regulatory approval.

The European Commission declined to comment, saying its investigation was ongoing.

Illumina said it was working constructively with the EU competition enforcer.

“The submitted remedies underscore our commitment to our oncology customers, to whom we have guaranteed continued supply of our products, equal access to technology, and a significant decrease in prices,” the company said in a statement.

“Illumina will accelerate the adoption of GRAIL’s test in Europe years faster than GRAIL could on its own, saving tens of thousands of lives in the EEA (European Economic Area) and billions of euros in healthcare costs.”

The Commission opened a full-scale investigation into the deal in July last year and warned that it may hurt innovation and competition in the market for cancer detection tests based on sequencing technologies.

Illumina in January this year sought to address the concerns with its offer of remedies.

Last month, the EU antitrust enforcer temporarily halted its investigation while waiting for Illumina to provide requested information.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is suing to stop the deal. Illumina spun off Grail in 2016 and kept a 12% stake.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Editing by Susan Fenton and Matthew Lewis)

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