The French Council of State rejects the application from a biotechnology company to suspend the referral by the French Competition Authority of its acquisition of a company developing multi-cancer early detection tests, and rules that it does not have jurisdiction to suspend a request for referral (Illumina / Grail)

The European Commission ("EC") is shifting its approach with respect to the referral mechanism under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation 139/2004 (the "EUMR") and now – at least in certain circumstances – encourages referrals from Member States even where the national filing thresholds are not met. This begs the question of whether the merging parties can stop the referral by appealing the national referral decisions. Just weeks after the EC introduced its new policy, we have an initial answer: the French Council of State and a court in The Hague have rejected applications to suspend or annul such a request for referral. On 26 March 2021, the EC published new guidance on the application of the referral mechanism set out in Article 22 EUMR. This provision allows for mergers to be

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Jérémie Marthan, Tilman Kuhn, Mark D. Powell, Rahel Wendebourg, The French Council of State rejects the application from a biotechnology company to suspend the referral by the French Competition Authority of its acquisition of a company developing multi-cancer early detection tests, and rules that it does not have jurisdiction to suspend a request for referral (Illumina / Grail), 1er avril 2021, e-Competitions April 2021, Art. N° 100695

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