In the Matter of Illumina, Inc., & GRAIL, Inc.

Date Filed: March 30, 2021
Status: Pending
District Court: N/A, Administrative Law Judge – No. 9401
Appellate Court: Fifth Circuit – No. 23-60167
Nature of Suit: Antitrust–Consolidation
Defendant Type: Biotechnology
Plaintiff Type: Federal

In March 2021, the FTC filed a complaint against Illumina’s acquisition of Grail. The challenge is unique because the acquisition is a vertical merger. Illumina is a biotechnology company that specializes in gene-sequencing, and Grail uses gene sequencing developed by Illumina to develop cancer screening technologies. The Grail acquisition proceeded despite the challenge, and in September 2022, the administrative law judge ruled in favor of the merging entities, finding that the evidence failed to show that the merger impacted Illumina’s abilities or incentives to restrain competition. The FTC appealed to the full Commission, which unanimously overturned the administrative law judge’s ruling. In a rare and notable move, the FTC’s final order demanded that Illumina divest and separate from Grail.  

Illumina and Grail filed for appeal before the Fifth Circuit on April 5, 2023. On April 18, a Fifth Circuit panel granted Illumina’s motion to expedite the proceeding. On April 24, 2023, the FTC decided to stay the order until the Fifth Circuit issues its mandate.  

Follow the latest developments of the case on the Source Blog.


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