Netherlands: Investment screening act comes into force on 1 June 2023
On 1 June 2023 the Dutch general investment screening control rules will come into force. The Netherlands adopted the act already in 2022 and has therewith implemented the EU’s FDI Regulation 2019/452. Future investments in critical infrastructure or sensitive technology will have to be notified to the Dutch Minister of economic affairs. Sensitive technology concerns military and dual use goods, quantum, semiconductor and photonics technology and high assurance/ information security products.
The adopted investment screening act on 17 May 2022 can be found here.
The decree determining the time of entry into force of the investment screening act can be accessed here.
The second decree determining the scope of sensitive technology can be accessed here.
Sweden: Law proposed to block foreign investments
The Swedish government is set to propose a law that will allow the Nordic nation to veto foreign investments. Several European countries had similar initiatives recently, especially in context of rethinking their relations with China. So far Sweden remains one of only nine countries in the EU without legal option to block foreign investments on security grounds. More than half of its gross domestic product derives from exports, so that Swedish authorities have long been sceptical of restrictions on global trade. If approved, the bill is due to enter in force in December 2023.
Switzerland: Federal Council took note of proposed Investment Screening Act
On 10 May 2023 the Federal Council of Switzerland took note of the proposal on a new law on investment screening. The Investment Screening Act is intended to prevent foreign investments from jeopardizing Switzerland`s public order or security. Nevertheless, there is widespread scepticism about the act in regard to the reduction of Switzerland´s attractiveness as a business location. The Federal Council remains of the opinion, that the existing regulatory framework is sufficient and investment screening should not be introduced.
Ultimately, the Federal Council has instructed the EAER (Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research) to draft legislation by the end of 2023 that is limited to investments that are most critical to security.
The announcement of the Swiss Federal Council can be accessed here.
Denmark: The first FDI rejection and an extension to the Investment Screening Act to come
The Danish Minister of Business and Industry has refused to authorize a foreign investment – the listed Japanese enterprise Hamamatsu Photonics K.K was denied acquisition of NKT’s subsidiary NKT Photonics Management Europe S.R.L.. The company is a supplier of fiber lasers and photonic-crystal fibre, as well as a known supplier to the defence industry, which is one of the particularly sensitive sectors subject to the Investment Screening Act. The reasons for the divestment of NKT to the Japanese enterprise being a threat to national security or public order are unknown.
Furthermore, on 11 May 2023 the first hearing of the bill, proposing a considerable extension of the rules on screening, was completed in the Parliament. In spite of interim restriction attempts, the government expects the bill to be adopted and take effect before summer. It is specifically suggested, that any contracting party, who intends to conclude a public contract concerning critical infrastructure must apply to the Business Authority for permission to conclude the contract.
European Commission approves Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard
The European Commission has approved Microsoft´s $ 68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard just weeks after UK regulators blocked the acquisition. The deal could pass because of commitments offered by Microsoft to address the competition concerns in the market for the distribution of PC and console games via cloud game streaming services.
An in-depth investigation of the proposed acquisition can be accessed here.
Newmont to buy Newcrest for $19-billion in gold sector’s biggest deal to date
The gold mining sector’s largest deal to date is unanimously approved: gold giant Newmont Crop. secured a US$ 19.2 billion deal to buy Australian rival Newcrest Mining Ltd. It is consolidating its position as the world’s biggest bullion producer with mines across Africa, the Americas, Australia and Papua New Guinea.