Dutch government wants to be able to prohibit takeovers in the telecom sector

Dutch government wants to be able to prohibit takeovers in the telecom sector

State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) has submitted a bill that enables the Dutch government to block or reverse a takeover in the telecom sector. This should be possible if such a takeover is likely to pose a risk to national security or public order.

The bill on undesirable control of telecommunications was published last Tuesday. Keijzer argues that data traffic, the Internet and also telephony are basic needs for people. The widespread failure or unreliability of such facilities is a major risk and can cause not only social unrest, but also major economic damage.

National security

For this reason, Keijzer wants to add its bill to the Telecommunications Act. On the site of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Keijzer explains the following about her proposal. The government wants to prevent our national security from being affected by unreliable, non-transparent or criminal companies. That is why I am protecting this vital sector from unwanted interference. I am doing this by introducing an obligation to report and the possibility of prohibiting takeovers.

Any party that in any way gains influence over Dutch telecom or internet providers must report the plans in advance. The ministry is still drafting new legislation for this, so that it is clear which investor is subject to the notification obligation and under what conditions. At the moment, it is only clear that these are companies that will have a relevant impact on the sector. Objective criteria will follow at a later stage.

Broad proposal

The bill summarizes the telecom sector not only as providers of mobile and fixed telephony and internet, but also other companies that offer vital services. Think of internet nodes, data centres and hosting services. In principle, therefore, these are companies whose operations are crucial to the reliability and safety of the Dutch digital infrastructure.

Moreover, the European Union has laid down that public authorities may intervene in takeovers only where there is an overriding public interest. These are threats to national security or public order. This would then be more explicit and more clearly anchored in Dutch legislation.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.