Getting the Deal Through - Technology M&A 2019: France | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

Getting the Deal Through - Technology M&A 2019: France

Getting the Deal Through – Technology M&A provides an overview of the various factors affecting technology M&A transactions across various jurisdictions.

Updates and trends

New technologies are at the heart of the current efforts of the French government to boost the French industry and to protect and retain French strategic industries and know-how. In particular, the French government has announced that the French legal framework applicable to national security review will be expanded to include new sectors such as AI, data centres or data storage, and semiconductors. This reform may come into effect by early 2019. It will also include new measures to broaden (subject to and within the limits permitted under EU regulation) the existing regime authorising the French state to create a ‘golden share’ for national security purposes. Under the newly envisaged legislation, ‘golden shares’ might be created by decree in relation to identified state-owned companies that hold sensitive or critical assets and would give the French state specific control rights in relation to such assets, notably in cases of transfer of technologies.

In the same vein, the government has announced that French public investment agencies (Bpi, APE) will deploy new funds to invest in French new tech companies with a view to foster their development and, eventually, help protect them from hostile takeovers by foreign investors.

The GDPR is now implemented under French law. Law No. 2018/493 of 20 June 2018 and Decree No. 2018/687 of 1 August 2018 supplement the GDPR and adapt national laws to this new regulation by using the flexibility offered to member states regarding several legal provisions.

The Parliamentary Office for Scientific and Technological Assessment (OPECST) issued a report on 20 June 2018 on blockchains. The report identified the following main legal issues: fraudulent activity, illegal data insertion, tax law, liability system and personal data protection. In particular, there may be issues with identifying the liable person in a dispute relating to the use of an application using a public blockchain as the blockchain system is based on trust between users (and not on a central organisation). The CNIL issued a report on the link between the GDPR and the blockchain in September 2018 but the OPECST remains pessimistic on the possibility of the emergence of a public blockchain that would comply with the GDPR.

   
     

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Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. Getting the Deal Through: Technology M&A 2019, published in December 2018; contributing editors: Arlene Arin Hahn and Jason Rabbitt-Tomita, White & Case LLP. For further information please visit: http://www.gettingthedealthrough.com/

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