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Good to Go, On This Ground

The US federal government has cleared the proposed sale of California-based Complete Genomics to China's BGI-Shenzen, The New York Times reports. The acquisition was given the OK by Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which examines the national security ramification of sales of US companies to foreign buyers. The Times adds that the Federal Trade Commission still needs to green-light the deal on antitrust grounds.

Some of the security concerns had been raised by Illumina, which placed its own bid for Complete Genomics, as our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has reported. "CFIUS reviews of transactions involving state-owned entities have been problematic, and several transactions have been abandoned rather than be subjected to a Presidential order to unwind the transaction," Illumina CEO Jay Flatley wrote in a letter to Complete Genomics in November. Complete Genomics rejected Illumina's bid, saying it did not think the deal would pass antitrust review.

BGI pointed out, however, that Illumina has sold it machines. "Illumina has never previously considered its business with BGI as 'sensitive' in the least," wrote Ye Yin, the chief operating officer of BGI, in a separate November letter to Complete Genomics.

GenomeWeb Daily News also has more on this here.