Merger control meets FDI: the multi-stop shop expands

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This article explores the interplay between the EU FDI Regulation and the EU Merger Regulation; and highlights how the lack of substantive and procedural convergence between the two regimes has exacerbated the challenges of managing the growing number of parallel regulatory reviews. The EU FDI Regulation created a mechanism for coordinating national screening of inward investments by foreign buyers. The adoption of the Regulation is part of a wider policy shift stemming from calls to preserve the EU’s industrial base, which led to the launch of the EU Industrial Strategy. These developments have added a layer of complexity to the EU regulatory landscape: M&A transactions may now be subject to multiple FDI filings just as they may qualify for merger control review in several jurisdictions. This article focuses in particular on the interplay between the ‘legitimate interest’ exception under the EU Merger Regulation and FDI controls.