“These new rules ensure mergers and takeovers in key areas of the economy cannot risk our national security, while maintaining the openness to trade and investment that is underpinned by our modern Industrial Strategy.” – Business Minister Richard Harrington.The rules apply to businesses developing military technology, computing hardware and quantum technology which may come with potential national security issues. The changes follow a consultation launched last year to amend the Enterprise Act to reform and strengthen the Government’s powers. Today’s new rules are the first step, with broader changes to be announced in a white paper later this year.
In the CMA’s view, there shouldn’t be any inherent conflict between achieving the national security aims set out in the green paper and maintaining the effectiveness of the merger control regime.The green paper estimates that an additional 5 to 29 mergers and acquisitions per year would be brought into scope for potential Government intervention as a result of the new provisions. Of these, the Government estimates that between 3 and 17 merger cases per year would be identified as ‘no risk’. The Government has published guidance for businesses to support them in adapting to today’s changes. Watch this space for more.
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