Minister floats German industry strategy, ‘champions’
Germany's economy minister floats the idea of taking stakes in tech companies as part of an industrial strategy in the face of tough global competition
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.