Reconciling the "Bittersweet Chemistry" between Technology and Corporate Takeovers through Reinforcing National Security Interests in Merger Control

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2021/v24i0a10741

Keywords:

Foreign Direct Investment, corporate takeovers, mergers, , foreign acquirer, national security threats, 5G wireless technology

Abstract

This article argues that company takeover regulation regimes must carefully balance two opposing notions. On the one hand, the regime must be designed to enable or facilitate the initiation and successful implementation of takeovers and mergers in the interests of economic growth and technological advancement. On the other hand, such a regulatory framework ought to be sensitive to the ever-increasing need to protect national security interests, especially from veiled threats. These threats include cybercrimes, private data hacking and espionage, which are endemic to takeovers contemplated by foreign persons that possess technological sophistication and are leaders in the rapidly unfolding Fourth Industrial Revolution. Recently some jurisdictions, such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom, have been active in reforming their investment laws to particularly strengthen the protection of national security interests. Similarly, in South Africa the debut introduction of section 18A of the Competition Amendment Act 18 of 2018 has enabled the addition of a concurrent but parallel standard to the pre-existing merger control criteria prescribed under section 12A of the Competition Act 89 of 1998. This article evaluates the efficacy of South Africa's framework for national security interests' protection in the context of merger control using its US and UK counterparts as comparators. Ultimately, the article proposes reforming the existing statutory and institutional framework to effectively accommodate national security interests in South African merger control.

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Published

2021-08-23 — Updated on 2021-08-24

Versions

How to Cite

Mudzamiri, J. ., & Osode, P. . . (2021). Reconciling the "Bittersweet Chemistry" between Technology and Corporate Takeovers through Reinforcing National Security Interests in Merger Control. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 24, 1–32. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2021/v24i0a10741 (Original work published August 23, 2021)

Issue

Section

Special Edition: Corporate and Financial Markets 2021