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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  November 1, 2022

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.


EU renews order for Illumina to keep Grail as separate entity.  EU antitrust regulators on Friday renewed interim measures ordering U.S. life sciences company Illumina to keep Grail as a separate entity pending an order to unwind the takeover completed before the deal had been approved. The interim order, which was due to expire at the end of the month, was issued by the competition enforcer last year after Illumina jumped the gun and acquired Grail before securing the EU green light. The EU subsequently vetoed the deal on Sept. 6.


Whistleblowers dodged $10 bln in EU cartel fines in past 16 years.  Companies that alerted European authorities to cartels in the last 16 years dodged 10 billion euros ($9.97 billion) in potential fines, EU antitrust regulators said as they announced efforts to encourage more whistleblowing. Launched in 1996 and revised several times since then, the European Commission’s leniency program offers the first company that reports wrongdoing total immunity from fines while those that subsequently come forward with evidence can get discounts up to 50%.


Spain antitrust watchdog fines Merck 39 mln euros in contraceptives case.  Spain’s competition watchdog has slapped a 39 million-euro ($38.45 million) fine on U.S.-based Merck & Co Inc for anti-competitive behaviour in a case brought by Spanish rival Insud Pharma over a contraception device. The CNMC antitrust agency said in a statement Merck’s local unit, which had a monopoly on vaginal contraceptive rings in Spain between 2002 and 2018 with its Nuvaring device, prevented Insud Pharma in 2017 from marketing its own device through deceptive practices.


Edited by Gary J. Malone