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Feinstein Talks Recent Ruling in Antitrust Acquisition Case

December 21, 2023

Debbie Feinstein, head of the firm’s Global Antitrust group, was quoted in the Global Competition Review (GCR) article, “Illumina ruling showcases tribunal’s power.” The article discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s upholding of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ruling against Illumina’s acquisition of Grail, in which the agency argued the acquisition threatened competition in the market for cancer detection tests. The Fifth Circuit’s decision resulted in Illumina, a DNA sequencing company, opting to divest Grail, a cancer-screening company.

Feinstein told GCR that the decision indicates federal courts will find that vertical mergers violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits mergers or acquisitions that might lessen competition. The decision may also encourage more companies to propose fixes while changing how the FTC and Department of Justice evaluate those proposals. “It may mean that settlements come about because the government realises that the court is going to find the remedy meaningful,” Feinstein said, adding that the government “may decide to settle on its terms rather than having the court approve the transaction in light of the settlement.”

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