The Dutch government proposed new laws which would give it the power to block or undo takeovers in the country’s telecoms sector which are deemed not in the national interest.
In a statement, the Ministry of Economic Affairs revealed a draft bill which proposes tougher scrutiny on any proposed takeovers in the country – in particular acquisitions by overseas companies. The Minstry said telecoms companies, including internet infrastructure, data centres and hosting firms would be covered by the bill, given their importance to national security.
“Netherlands benefits from the fact that we have an open economy, so we take more business from abroad than the other way around,” said Minister Henk Kamp in a statement.
The Minister went on to say the Netherlands suffered as a result of takeovers of domestic companies by overseas companies “linked to criminal activities, which are classified as financially vulnerable or have a non-transparent ownership structure.”
While not one of the companies covered by Kemp’s comments on corruption, America Movil’s attempts to takeover Dutch operator KPN in 2013 is one of the most high profile recent cases of an attempt by a foreign company to takeover a Dutch telecoms operator, which eventually failed.
KPN aside, the Dutch market saw a spate of activity over the past year.
The draft legislation has been put out to consultation, and will submitted to parliament later this year.