Golden Shares: A New Approach
Jaron Van Bekkum
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
November 15, 2009
European Company Law, Vol. 7, No. 1, February 2010
The golden share case law of the European Court of Justice has taken an unexpected turn. In the third golden share case of the European Commission against Italy of 26 March 2009 (C-326/07), the ECJ has rendered a fundamentally different decision, compared to its previous decisions on golden shares. In this article the new approach of the ECJ and its implications are discussed. It will become clear that the new approach has changed the scopes of articles 43 and 56 EC. It has also created a legal basis for Member States to use golden shares to restrict the influence of non-EU investors in European companies. Whether such influence can actually be restricted and whether this is desirable is, however, questionable. In addition, the effect of the new approach on the discussion whether or not rules of general company law can also infringe the fundamental freedoms of the EC Treaty in a purely private situation are discussed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: golden shares, free movement of capital, freedom of establishment, article 56 EC, article 43 EC, European Commission, Italy, European Court of Justice, C-326/07Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 29, 2010
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