Assessing the UK’s Public Interest Test in Light of Current Societal Uncertainty

Annina Julia Kotamäki


This paper examines the long-standing debate on the regulation of foreign takeovers, and the protection of public interests by the government in relation to them, in light of societal uncertainty present in the UK. This uncertainty is being generated by two developments: Brexit and the rise of Artificial Intelligence. This paper argues that the task of regulating foreign takeovers should be viewed as one of balancing three objectives: the promotion of economic growth, the protection of public interest, and the management of social considerations resulting from these takeovers. Furthermore, it is argued that the current Public Interest Test should be restated for clarity and specificity. Finally, the creation of an independent body to administer the Public Interest Test and to negotiate social considerations that arise in relation to foreign takeovers is discussed, evaluated and endorsed.

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