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UK set to amend merger, foreign investment policies

The British government will begin a consultation for a proposed amendment of policies related to mergers in Britain, such as those that raise national security concerns.

The proposal, which was set out by U.K. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark, calls to lower the threshold of mergers that the government can intervene in to those with a U.K. turnover of over £1 million, according to the Oct. 17 announcement. Currently, the government can only intervene in companies' mergers with a U.K. turnover of more than £70 million.

The proposal also seeks to remove the requirement for a merger to increase a business' share of supply of at least 25%.

These potential changes to the merger policies is anticipated to affect businesses that manufacture or design items that are subject to export controls and those involved in the design of computer chips and quantum technology.

The government is also looking to require a mandatory notification on certain foreign investments in key new projects or specific businesses or assets and in certain transactions that are critical for national security.