By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A European court will decide on July 13 whether U.S. life sciences company Illumina’s $8 billion cash-and-stock takeover of Grail should be scrutinised by EU antitrust regulators, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The case coincides with the European Commission seeking to expand its power to examine big companies’ acquisitions of start-ups aimed at shutting down nascent rivals, with the focus on tech and pharma deals.
Critics call it a power grab that has even worried some national competition agencies.
The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second-top court, declined to comment on the date of its ruling.
Illumina at a court hearing last year criticised the EU competition enforcer for using this rarely used power on a company with no activities in Europe.
“We believe the Commission wrongly asserted jurisdiction over a transaction between two American companies with no foreseeable impact on competition in Europe,” Illumina said in an email.
The company announced the deal in September last year, which would give it access to Grail’s flagship Galleri blood test used to diagnose cancers at early stages when the disease is easier to treat.
The case is T-227/21 Illumina v Commission.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Grant McCool)