On 11 October 2020, the EU screening mechanism for foreign direct investments potentially affecting security and public order in an EU Member State or in the whole EU became fully operational.

This follows the adoption of the EU Foreign Direct Investment Regulation in March 2019 (see our previous updates here and here), when the European Commission (“Commission”) and the Member States established a coordination framework, consisting of various separate national screening mechanisms.

The EU screening mechanism aims to enhance cooperation and information sharing between the Commission and its Member States. Foreign direct investments (“FDI“) in sensitive industries will be scrutinized to avoid the loss of critical assets and technology (e.g. in health, energy, transport, media, defense, financial infrastructure sectors, etc.).

The new mechanism ensures that deals will not only be systematically scrutinised with respect to merger control, but also from the perspective of FDI, notably if these have the potential to raise national security and public order concerns.

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Dr. Werner Berg, LL.M. is a partner in the Firm's Brussels office and heads European Competition Law Practice. A seasoned lawyer with more than 20 years' experience, his practice covers the entire spectrum of EU and German antitrust law. Werner has extensive experience in all areas of competition law. He has been the lead competition lawyer in numerous high end merger cases including referrals to and from the European Commission, complex remedy issues, and second phase procedures at EU and German levels.

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Samantha Mobley is a partner in the EU, Competition & Trade Practice of Baker & McKenzie’s London office and a member of the London office Management Committee. She headed Baker McKenzie’s Global Antitrust and Competition Group, a team of over 300 competition and antitrust specialists worldwide for six years. Samantha has significant experience of advising on the implications of foreign direct investment rules for cross-border transactions. She has advised a number of companies on the implication of the reduced UK national security thresholds, as well as coordinating the global foreign investment review aspects of a proposed $12 billion joint venture between a FTSE100 company and a Fortune 500 corporate. Samantha is a Who’s Who Legal 2020 Leading Individual for Foreign Investment Review.

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Dr. Anita Lukaschek, a senior associate, joined Baker McKenzie in 2015. She previously worked for the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, handling major cartel cases and being responsible for the leniency program. Anita advises on all aspects of Austrian and EU competition law. She focuses her practice on compliance issues, competition litigation, restrictive practices, abuse of dominance, cartel investigation and leniency filings.

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Luca Montani is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie, Brussels' Antitrust & Competition Practice. Luca advises clients on a wide variety of EU and competition law issues, mostly focusing on merger control and foreign investment reviews, antitrust and ABC compliance, EU cartel investigations, regulatory and verticals.

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