EU says French anti-takeover rules 'protectionist'

27th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) - The European Union executive arm considers new French rules to shield French firms from foreign takeovers to be "protectionist" and "discriminatory", a spokesman said Thursday.

BRUSSELS, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) - The European Union executive arm considers new French rules to shield French firms from foreign takeovers to be "protectionist" and "discriminatory", a spokesman said Thursday.

The European Commission sent a letter to French authorities at the beginning of the week to voice its concerns about the legislation, the spokesman for internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy told AFP.

The commission considered parts of the legislation, which went into effect in December, to be "protectionist" and "discriminatory" because it requires foreign firms to get the green light from the government before taking over French companies in "strategic" industries

The French finance ministry said in Paris that it would examine the letter, to which it has a month to reply or face legal proceedings from the commission.

Last August, the French government drew sharp criticism in France and abroad for plans to draw up a list of "strategic" sectors in which it could block hostile takeovers of a French firm by a foreign company.

The rules cover 11 industries, including casinos, private security firms, the development and production of antidotes, equipment for intercepting communications, computer security systems and some dual civil-military technology and cryptology activities.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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