ANNOUNCEMENT 25 Mar 2019

In March 2019, the Italian authorities extended the scope of foreign investments subject to investment screening to include 5G technology. The law was approved with amendments by parliament in May 2019.

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

1

  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising

SOURCE

The Italian official gazette, Decree Law No. 22, issued on 25 May 2019: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2019/03/25/19G00032/sg
The Italian official gazette, Decree Law No. 41 o 20 May 2019, issued on 25 May 2019: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2019/05/24/19G00049/sg

Inception date: 26 Mar 2019 | Removal date: open ended

FDI: Entry and ownership rule

On 25 March 2019, the Italian authorities issued Decree-Law no. 22 amending the scope of foreign investments subject to investment screening to include 5G technology. According to the decree, the amendments are introduced for reasons of national security. Under the Italian investment screening regime, the government is granted so-called "golden powers" veto or impose conditions on the purchase by a non-EU foreign entity of a certain share of an Italian company carried out.

More specifically, the amendments introduced by Law Decree 22 extend the scope to include broadband electronic communication services using 5G technology. Additionally, the law requires that any contract or agreement with non-EU entities for the purpose to acquire goods or services related to 5G networks must seek prior-approval by the government. Such goods and services include the acquisition of high-tech components utilised in the implementation or management of 5G networks or the purchase of design, construction, maintenance and management services related to 5G networks. Non-EU entities also include natural or legal persons located in the EU but controlled by a non-EU entity. 

The amendments enter into force on 26 March 2019 and must be approved by parliament within a period 60 days. On 20 May 2019, the Parliament issued Decree Law 41 approving and amending the Decree Law No. 22. Both Decree Law 22 and 41 amend the Italian investment control regime established by Decree Law No. 21 of 15 March 2012, see related state act.

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