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Why has the FTC asked Illumina to divest its acquisition of Grail?

In today’s top stories, biotech Exelixis is facing a proxy battle with Farallon Capital Management, while the Federal Trade Commission has requested that Illumina divest its acquisition of Grail, a developer of cancer-screening tests. Elsewhere, Foxconn saw revenue grow by just 3.9% last quarter, with founder Terry Gou hoping to run for president in Taiwan. Geopolitical strife could boost India’s satellite industry, while battery materials maker Ecopro is to expand its manufacturing capacity in Korea. Lastly, UK regulator Ofcom is considering investigating Amazon’s and Microsoft’s cloud units over allegedly making it hard for businesses and people to switch cloud providers.  

Another biotech faces a proxy fight

Exelixis [EXEL] is facing a proxy battle with Farallon Capital Management, which has a 7.2% stake in the biotech company, as was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The hedge fund is concerned about the biotech’s research and development spending, and wants it to put forward a plan for delivering cash flows from its flagship product. Farallon has nominated three directors to the board. Elsewhere, the Federal Trade Commission has requested that Illumina [ILMN] divest its acquisition of Grail, a developer of cancer-screening tests.

Foxcon’s flat sales

The iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co [2317.TW], known as Foxconn [2354.TW] internationally, saw revenue grow by just 3.9% last quarter. Founder Terry Gou said in a speech on Tuesday that technology remains critical to Taiwan’s economy and future success, reported Focus Taiwan, and on Wednesday announced he is bidding for a presidential nomination. Apple [APPL] is opening its first Indian retail shop in the financial centre of Mumbai.

India rivals China in satellite race

Geopolitical risks stemming from Beijing are forcing the US, UK and Europe to cosy up to countries with which they have stronger diplomatic ties. This could be rocket fuel for India’s satellite industry. Customers looking for less expensive alternatives to SpaceX “can’t look at China”, Dallas Kasaboski, principal analyst with space research and consulting firm Northern Sky Research, told Bloomberg. “Politically, India is in a much better place,” he added.

Ecopro to expand battery manufacturing

Battery materials maker Ecopro [086520.KQ], which supplies automakers including Ford [F], is to expand its manufacturing capacity in Korea. Citing people close to the company, Bloomberg reported it intends to acquire a site of around 7 million square feet in addition to its first site: a 5.3 million square-foot facility that is set to produce 270,000 tonnes of cathode-active materials annually. BMW [BMW.DE] and Stellantis [STLA] are in discussions with Panasonic [6752.T] over new electric vehicle battery plants in North America.

Ofcom to probe cloud providers

UK regulator Ofcom is considering investigating Amazon’s [AMZN] and Microsoft’s [MSFT] cloud units over allegedly making it hard for businesses and people to switch cloud providers. “High barriers to switching are already harming competition in what is a fast-growing market,” Ofcom director Fergal Farragher said in a statement. The two tech giants dominate the UK’s cloud industry, with a combined market share of 60% to 70%.

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