On this September 6th 2022, the European Commission has prohibited the merger of GRAIL by Illumina, saying it would stifle innovation and reduce choice in the emerging market for blood-based early cancer detection tests.
As described, GRAIL is developing a blood-based early cancer detection test, making it very interesting for Illumina which is a leader in analysis of genetic variation.
The reason for the prohibitions is a disadvantage that competitors would have in comparison to the merged companies.
The commission found that the remedies proposed by Illumina, which are a license open to some of Illumina’s patents and a commitment to conclude agreement with rivals, was not enough.
Illumina will apparently appeal the decision but the situation in the US may not be better considering that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission could overturn a ruling that allowed the acquisition.
A non-merging would be hard on both companies but mostly GRAIL considering that companies and investors are more trying to save cash and IPO is not a really good idea.