EU regulators suspend $8 B purchase of Illumina

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BRUSSELS, August 12 - The U.S. life sciences firm Grail Inc deplored EU antitrust regulators' decision on Thursday to suspend their investigation into its planned purchase of Illumina Inc, saying that the cancer test maker was critical to patients.

In an EU filing, the European Commission hit the pause button on Wednesday while waiting for Illumina to provide requested data, an EU filing showed.

The EU executive will announce a new deadline for its decision on the deal once it has received information, in line with its previously set deadline for 29 Nov. 2017.

Illumina was not happy with the EU suspend but decided that it was confident that the EU investigation will resume soon and the deal ultimately approved.

In a statement, general counsel (EC) was disappointed that the EC had chosen to delay review of our re-acquisition of Grail given the importance of bringing Grail's life-saving test to as many patients as possible as soon as possible, Thomas Bradley said in a statement.

We continue to work around the clock to meet the EC's substantial demands and have produced more than one million documents after receiving the EC’s document request only 10 days ago, he said.

The competition watchdog warned that Illumina said the deal could halt innovation, which could require them to offer concessions to address their concerns.

The $8 billion cash-and-stock deal for Grail will see Illumina buy out investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to regain control over a company it spun out five years ago.