Illumina moves to allay EU antitrust concerns over $8 bln Grail deal

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European Union flags are seen outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

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BRUSSELS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Illumina (ILMN.O) has offered to cut prices and continue to allow rivals access to its technologies in a bid to allay EU antitrust concerns about its proposed takeover of cancer detection test maker Grail (GRAL.O), a European Commission filing showed on Friday.

The $8 billion cash-and-stock deal, unveiled in September 2020, would give Illumina access to Grail's flagship Galleri blood test used to diagnose cancers at early stages when the disease is easier to treat.

However, the European Commission has warned that the acquisition could curb innovation and competition. Regulatory scrutiny of such deals come amid concerns on both sides of the Atlantic that big companies may buy innovative start-ups to shut down the potential rivals.

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"We are guaranteeing the continued supply of Illumina's products and support to oncology customers at the same price GRAIL pays, and to make our latest technologies available on the same terms that GRAIL receives, along with a guaranteed significant price reduction over the coming years," Illumina said in a statement.

The EU competition watchdog extended its deadline for a decision to March 25. It is expected to seek feedback from rivals and customers before deciding whether to accept the remedies or demand more concessions.

U.S. life sciences company Illumina has previously made a similar offer to U.S. antitrust regulators which are suing to block the deal. read more .

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Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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