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Illumina, Inc., and GRAIL, Inc., In the Matter of

The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint and authorized a federal court lawsuit to block Illumina’s $7.1 billion proposed acquisition of Grail—a maker of a non-invasive, early detection liquid biopsy test that can screen for multiple types of cancer in asymptomatic patients at very early stages using DNA sequencing. Illumina is the only provider of DNA sequencing that is a viable option for these multi-cancer early detection, or MCED, tests in the United States.

The complaint alleges the proposed acquisition will diminish innovation in the U.S. market for MCED tests, which could be used to detect up to 50 types of cancer. Most of these types of cancer are not screened for at all today, and the MCED test could save millions of lives around the world. The trial began on Aug. 24, 2021. On May 20, 2021, the FTC authorized staff to dismiss its federal court complaint for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
201 0144
Docket Number
9401
Case Status
Pending

Linde AG and Praxair, Inc., In the Matter of

In 2019, following a public comment period, the FTC has approved a modified final order requiring industrial gas suppliers Praxair, Inc. and Linde AG to sell assets in nine industrial gases product markets in numerous U.S. geographic markets to four divestiture buyers. The nine product markets in which the Commission alleged harm in its October 2018 complaint are bulk liquid oxygen, bulk liquid nitrogen, bulk liquid argon, bulk liquid carbon dioxide, bulk liquid hydrogen, bulk refined helium, on-site hydrogen, on-site carbon monoxide, and excimer laser gases. In November 2022, the FTC announced the approval of a petition to modify the final order in this case.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
C4660

Altria Group/JUUL Labs, In the Matter of

The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint alleging that Altria Group, Inc. and JUUL Labs, Inc. entered a series of agreements, including Altria’s acquisition of a 35% stake in JUUL, that eliminated competition in violation of federal antitrust laws. According to the complaint, this series of agreements involved Altria ceasing to compete in the U.S. market for closed-system electronic cigarettes in return for a substantial ownership interest in JUUL, by far the dominant player in that market. In an initial decision announced on Feb. 24, 2022, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell dismissed the antitrust charges in the complaint.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
191 0075
Docket Number
9393
Case Status
Pending

JAB Consumer Partners/VIPW/Ethos Veterinary Health, In the Matter of

The FTC imposed strict limits on JAB Consumer Partners’ future acquisitions of specialty and emergency veterinary clinics as a condition of JAB’s proposed $1.65 billion acquisition of VIPW, LLC, the parent of Ethos, an owner and operator of specialty and emergency veterinary clinics. The Commission alleged that the acquisition was likely to be anticompetitive in four geographic markets, ordering divestitures for various types of veterinary care in and around Richmond, Virginia, in and around the Washington DC Metro Area, particularly for customers to the southeast in Virginia and Maryland, in and around Denver, Colorado, and in and around downtown San Francisco, California. The Commission finalized the order in October 2022.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
211 0174
Docket Number
C-4770
Case Status
Pending

Meta Platforms, Inc./Mark Zuckerberg/Within Unlimited, FTC v.

The Federal Trade Commission authorized a lawsuit in federal court to block the proposed merger between virtual reality (VR) giant Meta and Within Unlimited, the VR studio that markets Supernatural, a leading VR fitness app. Formerly known as Facebook Inc., Meta sells the most widely used VR headset, operates a widely used VR app store, and already owns many popular VR apps, including Beat Saber, reportedly one of the best-selling VR apps of all time, which it markets for fitness use. The agency alleges that Meta’s proposed acquisition of Within would stifle competition and dampen innovation in the dynamic, rapidly growing U.S. markets for fitness and dedicated-fitness VR apps. A federal court complaint and request for preliminary relief was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to halt the transaction.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
221 0040
Docket Number
3:22-CV-04325
Case Status
Pending