On June 17, 2020, the European Commission (Commission) published a whitepaper on “levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies” (Whitepaper
). The Whitepaper — which draws on the EU’s existing trade defense instruments, state aid controls and merger review powers, as well as EU Member States’ foreign direct investment (FDI) screening regimes — proposes new and far-reaching tools aimed at addressing the potentially distortive effects of subsidies from non-EU governments that benefit companies active in the EU (Foreign Subsidies). Open for public comment until September 23, 2020, the Whitepaper proposes to empower (1) the Commission, or EU Member States, to conduct ex officio
reviews into Foreign Subsidies; (2) the Commission to conduct pre-closing reviews of inbound EU M&A deals that involve investors benefiting from Foreign Subsidies; and (3) the Commission, or EU Member States, to review Foreign Subsidies in the context of public procurement procedures.