December 18, 2018 / 7:01 PM / 6 months ago

Germany tightens rules to fend off foreign takeovers - document

BERLIN, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Germany is lowering its threshold to launch security probes of stake purchases by non-European entities to protect critical infrastructure, a government document showed on Tuesday, in a push to fend off unwanted takeovers by Chinese investors.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government agreed to lower the shareholding threshold at which the government can intervene in certain sectors on grounds of public safety concerns, to 10 percent from 25 percent previously, the government document seen by Reuters showed.

The cabinet is expected to pass the new rules on Wednesday.

The move comes amid mounting concerns that China’s state-backed companies are gaining too much access to key technologies in Germany and other European countries while Beijing is shielding its own companies from foreign takeovers. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Markus Wacket Editing by Paul Carrel)

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