Sunday 18 April 2021

Counter-terrorism body assesses risks of KPN takeover

The national counter-terrorism unit is assessing the potential risks attached to a takeover of telecom company KPN by América Móvil, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

The question of whether the national interest will be properly protected in any eventual sale is ‘open on the table’, counter-terrorism czar Dick Schoof told the paper.

Last Friday, a foundation set up to protect KPN from hostile takeovers blocked the sale to the Mexican firm by erecting takeover defences.

The Stichting Bescherming KPN was founded in 1994 ‘to protect key national infrastructure’ when KPN was privatised. In a statement, the foundation said it had taken the step ‘to safeguard in the interests of KPN, shareholders, employees, customers, unions and Dutch society in general.’

Emergency services

‘We are talking about crucial infrastructure used by many services,’ Schoof said. These include the closed emergency service network C2000, plus the 112 emergency number for the public.

Schoof said his involvement in the issue stemmed from questions raised by the cabinet, not the foundation’s action.

‘The question which has to be answered is whether additional measures need to be taken out of national security considerations to guarantee the public interest,’ Schoof is quoted as saying.

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