EU's Expansion Of Merger Review Authority Poses Catch-22

By Bryan Koenig (November 12, 2021, 9:39 PM EST) -- The European Commission wanted to review DNA-sequencing company Illumina's $8 billion re-acquisition of cancer-testing outfit Grail, even though the deal didn't meet bloc review thresholds and was already under challenge by U.S. enforcers; so in April, officials tried a tactic they'd established only the month before.

Competition professionals say this expanded and never-before-employed use of Article 22 of the European Commission's Merger Regulation authority, unveiled in guidance earlier this year, is already changing how they game out certain transactions from the earliest planning stages through timing protocols for the deal.

The provision allows the commission to review any transaction referred to...

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