Salem Radio Network News Saturday, September 23, 2023


Rocky history of Illumina’s Grail deal

(Reuters) – Gene-sequencing machine maker Illumina Inc has filed an appeal against an order from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that demands it divest cancer diagnostic test maker Grail Inc on competition concerns.

Illumina spun off Grail in 2016, but retained a 12% stake. It reacquired the cancer test maker in 2021, despite opposition from European and U.S. regulators.

The following is a chronology of events in the Illumina-Grail deal:


Jan 10, Illumina spins off Grail as a new company


Sept 21, Illumina

2020 reacquires

the cancer detection test maker for

$7.1 billion

March The U.S. FTC seeks to stop the deal

30, 2021

July 13, The deal faces a full-scale EU antitrust probe


Aug 18, Illumina completes the acquisition of Grail for

2021 $8 billion ahead of EU regulatory approval

Aug 24, The U.S. FTC

2021 seeks

to undo the deal, alleging it would

harm innovation and boost prices

Oct 12, EU antitrust regulators resume their scrutiny of

2021 the deal after a two-month halt

Oct 29, EU orders Illumina to keep Grail as a separate

2021 company

Dec 16, Illumina criticizes EU antitrust regulators for

2021 scrutinizing the deal even though Grail has no

business operations in Europe

Jan 25, EU antitrust regulators extend the deadline for

2022 their decision on the deal

Jan 28, Illumina offers to cut prices and continue to

2022 allow rivals access to its technologies in a bid

to allay EU antitrust concerns

Feb 4, EU antitrust regulators temporarily pause, for

2022 the second time, their investigation into the

deal, while waiting for the companies to provide


July 13, The company loses its challenge in Europe’s

2022 second-highest court against antitrust scrutiny.

July 19, EU says Illumina risks hefty fine for jumping

2022 the gun on Grail deal

Sept 1, A U.S. administrative judge rules in favor of

2022 the deal, in a blow to the FTC, which says it

will appeal

Sept 6, Illumina will have to divest Grail after the EU

2022 blocks the takeover

Oct 28, EU antitrust regulators renew interim measures

2022 that were due to expire by October-end by

ordering Illumina to keep Grail as a separate


Dec 13, Illumina defends the deal, pledging to keep

2022 selling its DNA sequencing services to other

firms, as it seeks to head off a potential vote

by U.S. antitrust regulators to kill the deal

Jan 10, Illumina challenges the EU antitrust order to

2023 keep biotech firm Grail separate, ratcheting up

its fight against the bloc’s regulators

Feb 8, The company takes its case to senior EU and

2023 national antitrust officials at a closed hearing

to argue an antitrust order to divest Grail

March Billionaire investor Carl Icahn launches proxy

13, 2023 fight at Illumina and pushes for three board

seats, criticizing the deal

April 3, The FTC orders Illumina to divest Grail, finding

2023 that the deal would stifle competition in the

U.S. market for cancer tests

April A U.S. appeals court says it will accelerate

19, 2023 reviewing Illumina’s challenge to the FTC order

May 25, Carl Icahn secures a seat for one of his three

2023 nominees on Illumina’s board, a partial victory

for the activist investor

June 2, Illumina says it has expanded its board, adding

2023 two C-suite executives

June 5, Illumina files an appeal against the FTC’s

2023 order, arguing that the agency “violated due

process by depriving Illumina and Grail of a

fair proceeding before an impartial tribunal”

Sources: Company statements, Reuters reports

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy and Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)


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