Sunday 12 July 2020

Dutch government demands approval of telecom and internet takeovers


The Dutch government will intervene if the takeover of smaller internet and telecoms companies, hosting firms and server farms is a risk to national security, junior economic affairs minister Mona Keijzer has told MPs.

Companies will fall under the law if the takeover involves internet or telephony services to more than 100,000 people. In that case the deal must be referred to the economic affairs ministry for approval.

‘The cabinet wants to prevent national security being affected if untrustworthy, criminal or non transparent companies want to take over Dutch firms,’ Keijzer said in a briefing.

The rules will also cover server farms using more than 40 megawatts of electricity and website hosting companies providing hosting services to at least 400,000 Dutch websites.

This would include server farms such as Equinix and Digital Realty, both of which are American and hosting firms like Hostnet and TransIP.

Telecom and internet companies have rejected the government’s position, saying it will not improve security. In addition, economies of scale are vital to ensure that the sector can continue to innovate, Jeroen Hupscher, managing director of TransIP owner Team Blue, told the Financieele Dagblad.

The draft legislation was earlier criticised by the Council of State for being vague and poorly formulated.

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