Resurgence of Protectionism – Can European Member States Really Do Whatever They Want to Foreign Takeovers?

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia recently cited the French initiatives to block the GE-Alstom deal as an example of “worrying signals of protectionist threats” in Europe. France is not, however, to be singled out. EU Member States have sought to protect their national champions for decades, relying, among others, on an EU merger provision which allows Member States to take measures to protect their legitimate interests.

France’s Extended Powers to Intervene in Foreign Takeovers -

In May 2014, the French government adopted a decree extending its powers to block foreign investments in strategic activities relating in particular to energy supply, water supply, transport networks, electronic communication services, and public health. This measure cannot be detached from the government’s initial opposition to GE’s bid for Alstom’s power and grid businesses. After lengthy discussions, an update to GE’s offer received support from the French government at the end of June. Under the terms of the agreement, France would purchase a 20 per cent stake in Alstom to ensure, in particular, that the State would retain a say in job-related decisions and decision-making at the company.

Please see full memo below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Shearman & Sterling LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.