(Bloomberg) -- Illumina Inc. faces a battle to save its $8 billion bid for cancer-test provider Grail from a European Union veto ahead of a Friday deadline to allay antitrust concerns.

EU officials are currently leaning toward blocking the deal by a March 4 deadline, according to people familiar with the review who asked not to be identified because a decision isn’t final. Illumina could still win over regulators by making acceptable concessions by Jan. 28.

That chance may be slim. The EU is worried that Illumina could hamper rivals from developing such tests. Illumina has tried to address this with an offer it made to U.S. authorities last year that aims to secure supply, technology access and reduced prices for rivals and customers. 

“There seems to be just one way forward for this which would be a break-up” of the business,” said Ioannis Kokkoris, law professor at Queen Mary University of London. “I don’t think a long-term behavioral access remedy will do it here,” he said, referring to the type of proposal made to U.S. watchdogs. 

Grail has no sales in the EU and the proposed tie-up has become a test case for the European Commission’s new policy of targeting potentially troublesome deals that would previously have escaped a review. 

“While there is no basis to prohibit this pro-competitive merger, we plan to have meaningful engagement with the commission about proposed remedies,” Illumina said in a statement. 

The U.S. commitments “comprehensively address the commission’s stated concerns with the acquisition, and we look forward to addressing any remaining concerns so the deal can be cleared,” it said.

“The impact of this merger on European patients and the fight against cancer cannot be overstated, with tens of thousands of lives saved in the EEA alone and billions of euros saved in healthcare costs,” it said.

Illumina is now battling regulators on several legal fronts and risks a separate $400 million fine for closing the deal without permission. It has previously argued that the EU has no right to weigh in and a veto will delay the roll-out of life-saving cancer tests.

The European Commission declined to comment.

While merger vetoes are rare, antitrust officials around the world have been arguing for a tougher line against mergers and acquisitions that can allow companies grab more market power. 

A top U.S. regulator this week warned that he’d prefer vetoes to settlements and was unlikely to accept so-called behavioral pledges, where companies promise to avoid problematic actions. Nvidia Corp. is planning to abandon its bid for Arm Ltd after failing to clear regulatory hurdles, people familiar with that deal have said.

Meanwhile, Illumina is asking an EU court to rule that the commission exceeded its power by probing the transaction. The company also faces a possible fine of $400 million for closing the deal last year before the EU finished its review.

Grail was founded by Illumina in 2016 and later spun off. The company’s researchers discovered that signs of cancer were detectable in maternal blood samples. Known as “liquid biopsies,” such tests are a long-sought goal in the world of biomedical research. 

Illumina is a giant of DNA sequencing, serving as both the backbone for consumer genetics tests and an integral part of pharmaceutical research efforts.

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