BERLIN – Germany’s economy minister is floating the possibility of the government temporarily taking stakes in technology companies to head off foreign takeovers as he proposes a “national industry strategy.”
Peter Altmaier backed the idea of “national and European champions” in a fast-changing business world as he presented his strategy on Tuesday. His proposal proclaimed that ‘size matters!”
Altmaier said his proposal is meant to kick off a discussion in Germany and then in Europe on industrial strategy in the face of tough global competition. Germany has seen a decade of economic growth, but he argued that that doesn’t guarantee it will continue.
The most eye-catching idea is the concept of setting up an “investment fund” that could in limited cases protect companies that make key technologies from being taken over.