INTERNATIONAL: CHINA - MERGER CONTROL - EU COMMISSION - M&A POLICY - DIRECT INVESTMENTS

China/EU: The gradual evolution of the EU Commission’s merger control decisional practice towards SOEs amidst an increasingly protectionist world

This article [1] updates the article published by the authors in 2012 on the treatment of Chinese SOEs involved in acquisitions of European companies under the EU Merger Regulation. In this updated version, the authors discuss the lessons learnt in this regard from the European Commission decision in the EDF/CGN/NNB case. They explain that, in fact, despite providing some helpful clarifications, this decision still leaves many questions open for future determination, thus enabling the European Commission to retain flexibility for future cases. More broadly, the authors also consider public interest considerations in M&A policy towards Chinese SOEs which recently culminated in the adoption by the European Commission of a draft European regulation aiming to screen certain foreign direct investments in the EU.

I. Introduction 1. Investment by foreign companies into an economy—and in particular investment by companies owned by foreign states—raises sensitive issues. Should regulators be agnostic, treat those foreign acquirers as any private company and apply pure competition tests? Or should they be more cautious (some would say suspicious) and always think of the state behind those companies and take into account non-competition issues including reciprocity (is the foreign state equally open to investment?), impact on sensitive sectors of the domestic economy, and political concerns? These issues have come to the fore in recent years, in particular with regard to investments by Chinese state-owned enterprises (“SOEs”). 2. The topic is not new, however. Indeed, five years ago, we published an

Access to this article is restricted to subscribers

Already Subscribed? Sign-in

Access to this article is restricted to subscribers.

Read one article for free

Sign-up to read this article for free and discover our services.

 

PDF Version

Authors

Quotation

Kyriakos Fountoukakos, Camille Puech-Baron, China/EU: The gradual evolution of the EU Commission’s merger control decisional practice towards SOEs amidst an increasingly protectionist world, November 2017, Concurrences Review N° 4-2017, Art. N° 84891, www.concurrences.com

Visites 237

All reviews