Deep Dive Episode 189 – A Dawning Era for Vertical Mergers? The New Vertical Merger Guidelines, Illumina/Grail, and More

The antitrust agencies’ approach to vertical mergers has been the subject of significant debate — with potential changes still on the horizon. Last summer, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission issued long-awaited Vertical Merger Guidelines, the first update since 1984. The FTC’s challenge to the Illumina/Grail merger — which sits at the intersection of healthcare and developing technology issues — is currently scheduled to begin an administrative trial next month. This would mark the first vertical merger litigation under the new Vertical Merger Guidelines, and one of the first since the DOJ’s loss in AT&T/Time Warner. Our panel of experts discuss the recent developments in the vertical merger space, the theories at issue in the Illumina/Grail case, and implications for enforcement activity over the coming months and years.

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Steve Cernak


Bona Law PC

Michael Kades

Director, Markets and Competition Policy

Equitable Growth

Bruce Kobayashi

Professor of Law

Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Thomas Lambert

Wall Chair in Corporate Law and Governance and Professor of Law

University of Missouri School of Law

Taylor Owings


Baker Botts L.L.P.

Elyse Dorsey

Adjunct Professor

Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Antitrust & Consumer Protection

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