ANNOUNCEMENT 16 Oct 2017
In October 2017, the Italian authorities extended the scope of foreign investments subject to investment screening to include certain high-tech assets from a number of specified sectors. The law was approved with amendments by parliament in December 2017.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
The Italian official gazette, Decree Law No. 148, issued on 16 October 2017: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2017/10/16/17G00166/sg
The Italian official gazette, Decree Law No. 172, issued on 6 December 2017: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2017/12/5/17G00186/sg
Reuters, UPDATE 1-Italy passes decree to ward off foreign takeovers, 13 October 2017: https://www.reuters.com/article/italy-ma-decree/update-1-italy-passes-decree-to-ward-off-foreign-takeovers-idUSL8N1MO59I
On 16 October 2017, the Italian authorities issued Decree Law No. 148 amending the scope of foreign investments subject to investment screening. Under the Italian investment screening regime, the government is granted so-called "golden powers" veto or impose conditions on the purchase of a certain share of an Italian company carried out by non-EU foreign entities.
The amendments introduced by Law Decree 148 extend the scope of investment screening to cover certain high-tech assets from a number of specified sectors. These sectors are critical or sensitive infrastructure (including financial, management and data storage); security of critical procurement input; critical technologies (including robotics, semiconductors, AI, space and nuclear technology as well as web security and other dual-use applications); and activities which grant access to or control sensitive information. For the government to excise its "golden powers" it must first identify that the specific assets or activities are carried out in the respective sectors to the extent that they pose a security or public policy threat.
According to Reuters, the Minister of Industry Carlo Calenda stated in this context: "Italy is a country that is open to international investments but it demands that investors respect the rules and we safeguard our national interests like all the world’s large economies,” Industry Minister Carlo Calenda said after the cabinet meeting."
The amendments enter into force on the day of publication in the official gazette, i.e. 16 October 2017, and must be approved by parliament within a period 60 days. On 6 December 2017, the Parliament issued Decree Law 172 approving and amending the Decree Law No. 148. Both Decree Law 148 and 172 amend the Italian investment control regime established by Decree Law No. 21 of 15 March 2012, see related state act.