Download the full outcome
Detail of outcome
Part 1: Short term powers
We will make changes to the Enterprise Act 2002 to extend the powers of the Secretary of State to intervene in mergers which might give rise to national security implications and into which they would not otherwise be able to intervene.
An Order has been laid in draft in Parliament, amending the share of supply test. The intention is to lay a further Order to amend the turnover threshold. Subject to Parliament’s consideration and approval, both Orders will come into force at the same time.
As a result of feedback we have made a number of amendments to the proposals. In particular, we have refined the proposed sector definitions to give greater clarity and to ensure they are more closely targeted on the national security issues of concern.
We believe that the national security context means that the reform should be made. We do this in knowledge of the fact that it has implications for the threshold for intervention on competition grounds but consider that it ought to have no material difference in practice to the government’s approach to competition concerns.
Part 2: Longer-term reforms
Part 2 of the consultation on the longer-term reforms closed on 9 January 2018. We are now considering the responses received and will lay out plans for long-term reform in due course.
Detail of feedback received
The first part of this consultation on short term reforms closed on 14 November. We received 27 formal responses from interested parties, including:
- legal and advisory firms
- trade associations
- industry groups
- individual businesses
- government bodies
- research bodies
We also received feedback on the proposals through meetings with an additional 7 organisations during the consultation.
Stakeholders demonstrated some support for the principle of and rationale for the intended action. Most also provided some specific views about the detail of the proposals, particularly the sectors to which the amended thresholds would apply.
This green paper is the result of the government’s review of the Enterprise Act 2002 and its powers in relation to foreign investment and national security. It sets out the approach the government proposes to take in both the short and long term. We will use your responses to the green paper to develop these proposals further.
The consultation is split into 2 parts.
In the short term, we propose to amend the turnover threshold and share of supply tests within the Enterprise Act 2002. This is to allow government to examine and potentially intervene in mergers that currently fall outside the thresholds in 2 areas:
- the dual use and military use sector
- parts of the advanced technology sector
Part 1 of the consultation lasts 4 weeks, closing on 14 November 2017.
The second part of the green paper seeks views about potential long-term reforms that government should take to its approach to ensuring that investments and takeovers cannot raise national security concerns.
Part 2 of the consultation lasts 12 weeks, closing on 9 January 2018.