The EU Commission issues a Statement of Objections, pursuing interim measures on two pharmaceutical companies for the alleged violation of the standstill obligation (Illumina / Grail)

The Illumina/GRAIL case saga continues. As we reported in our previous briefing, the Illumina / GRAIL deal provides the first illustrative example of the European Commission’s ("Commission") new approach to try and “catch” transactions using the referral mechanism in Article 22 EU Merger Regulation ("EUMR") that would otherwise fall below the EUMR turnover thresholds. Under the new approach, Article 22 EUMR works as a “catch-all” provision which enables EU Member States to refer a case to the Commission for examination if there are serious potential competition concerns, even in instances where the case does not qualify for review under national merger control rules. In other words, a deal that could previously be put in the safe “not notifiable anywhere in the EU” box, can now be at risk

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