An amendment to the Austrian Competition Act, which entered into force on 10 September 2021, requires the Austrian Competition Authority to share all merger control filings it receives with the Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW), which is the competent authority for foreign investment review in Austria.
This new measure is aimed at strengthening the enforcement of foreign investment review in Austria, by allowing the BMDW to screen merger control filings with regard to potential foreign investment review requirements.
Austria’s foreign investment regime has only entered into force in July last year. It applies to a broad range of various sectors and covers indirect acquisitions of Austrian companies (e.g. Austrian subsidiaries of non-Austrian target companies) and has led to a significant increase in the number of foreign investment filings.