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UK Government Investigating Illumina's Proposed Acquisition of Pacific Biosciences

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The UK government's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said today that it has launched an investigation into Illumina's planned acquisition of Pacific Biosciences.

Illumina announced last November that it plans to acquire PacBio for approximately $1.2 billion in cash. In January, the company reiterated that it expects the acquisition to close mid-year.

CMA is currently considering whether the acquisition "will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002" and whether it will likely result "in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services." Until May 3, stakeholders are invited to send the agency comments on competition issues.

CMA, a non-ministerial department of the UK government, is in charge of promoting competition and reducing anti-competitive activities in the UK. Among other actions, it investigates mergers that could restrict competition.

Illumina and PacBio both declined to comment on the CMA investigation.