F. A. Z. exclusive: Europe's fight against foreign investors

Acquisitions of businesses by companies from third countries such as China are under scrutiny in the European Union has long been skeptical. The Corona-crisis,

F. A. Z. exclusive: Europe's fight against foreign investors

Acquisitions of businesses by companies from third countries such as China are under scrutiny in the European Union has long been skeptical. The Corona-crisis, the fear of a sell-off of European Industrial once reinforced. The EU has tightened, therefore, the oversight of Takeovers.

Hendrik Kafsack

economic correspondent in Brussels.

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A Problem, however, remains unresolved: How can protect themselves Europeans before that of their home country to a higher gepäppelte and subsidised companies in Europe will go on a shopping spree?

The European Commission wants to remedy the situation. From a draft strategy paper, a "white paper for fair conditions of competition in respect of foreign subsidies," shows, she wants to consider such Acquisitions in the future and make it difficult. The paper is the F. A., for example.

The competent, the competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, plans to introduce the white paper in the middle of the week in Brussels. This is in response to the request of Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and its French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, from the beginning of this year, according to new instruments in the competition policy, to the increasing pressure of competition, particularly from China, to withstand.

at Least 100 million Euro turnover

so Far, there are only rules for European subsidies. Specifically, the Commission does not want to Acquisitions, but investments to check that the Investor has significant influence on business decisions or if he acquires more than 35 percent of the shares. To apply for companies with an annual turnover of at least 100 million euros, but also for "potentially an important company with a (still) limited sales in the EU".

The companies involved should have to register the Acquisition with the Commission, as soon as the Investor has received within the past three years, subsidies of a total of more than EUR 10 million or in an amount of 5 to 10 percent of the purchase price. The Commission has not only direct aid but also indirect, such as interest-free loans, unlimited state guarantees or fiscal advantages.

The EU competition authority but can also act on its own Initiative. If the Takeover to distort competition in the internal market, could you ban this or requirements have been adopted. In addition, the Commission wants to be able to check on the Basis of information of competitors, subsequently, whether an investment is problematic for the internal market, and in the extreme case, undo can. In addition, you want to check, whether the activity is state-sponsored companies from third countries, about the provision of services, distorts the competition.

Updated Date: 15 June 2020, 04:19

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