Extension of Italy’s Foreign Investment Regulation to High-tech Assets

April 5, 2019

On March 25, 2019, the Italian Government amended the existing legal framework governing foreign investments in Italy, set forth in Decree Law No. 21 of March 15, 2012.

Pursuant to the Decree, the Italian Government has the power to veto or impose conditions on foreign investments in certain key sectors of the Italian economy (originally, defense and national security, and energy, transport, and communications), when such investments may jeopardize the national security or other public interests.

The purpose of the recent amendment is to extend the Decree’s scope to 5G technologies.

This extension follows an amendment adopted in December 2017, which added various other categories of high-tech assets.

These changes to the Decree are intended to address growing concerns about foreign interference with strategic sectors of the Italian economy which may undermine national security.

The latest amendment to the Decree became effective as of March 26, 2019, but needs to be ratified by the Italian Parliament within 60 days or it will lapse.