Biopharma Mergers Remain in Global Antitrust Spotlight: Abandoned Illumina/Pacific Biosciences Merger Exemplifies Increased Scrutiny in US and UK

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - January 6, 2020
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On January 2, 2020, Illumina, Inc. and Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. abandoned their proposed $1.2 billion merger following antitrust probes by the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom and the Federal Trade Commission in the United States.  The antitrust enforcers articulated serious concerns about the transaction’s effects on competition in the global market for DNA-sequencing systems. This scenario highlights the ongoing – and perhaps escalating – antitrust scrutiny that companies in the biopharmaceutical and technology sectors are facing across jurisdictions and the regulators’ increased attention to the preservation of nascent competition.