EU’s Vestager wants power to investigate foreign aided bids for European companies

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Foreign state-backed or state-owned companies seeking to acquire European companies may be investigated to see if they are benefiting from unfair subsidies, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday.

“They (foreign subsidies) come without us knowing, they come without checks, there is a high risk that they will fragment the single market or unlevel the playing field,” Vestager told Reuters in an interview.

Vestager, who is responsible for vetting state aid granted by EU governments to their companies, will present her proposal known as the white paper on foreign subsidies next week.

She said companies already doing business in the 27-country bloc and suspected of being a foreign state-owned or state-backed entity could also be investigated.

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