Ulrich Dietz: Fatal decision for startups and investors in Germany
Expansion of merger controls fuels insecurity, delays and competitive disadvantage compared with other countries.
Significant adverse impact on expansion of German startup scene
An announcement was made in December of last year that the draft 2016 annual economic report would include a tightening of antitrust law. The move is now official: in the report presented this week, the German government has announced a significant expansion in merger controls – a fatal decision for startups and investors in Germany.
“If the politicians in German really think they have to intervene in the German startup scene, which is still so tender and young, by introducing regulatory measures, then it’s a serious misjudgement of the situation. Startups can be set up anywhere in the world and develop successfully. There are already a number of countries in Europe alone that are much more attractive than Germany – you just need to look at Switzerland or England for examples. This is a state of affairs that we should be trying to change – and not make conditions even worse,” states Ulrich Dietz, the CODE_n initiator and CEO of GFT Technologies.
According to the report, future involvement of the competition authorities will also depend on the buying price of a company and not only come into effect after hitting the turnover ceilings that were valid until now. This will make it much more difficult and costlier for startups and investors in Germany to sell a startup business. The amendments to the Act against Restraints of Competition (GWB) are set to take effect as early as the spring of this year.
“We don’t need more millstones around the neck of the startup scene. The right approach would be less bureaucracy and regulation, to move Germany forward as a startup location. Selling a startup shouldn’t be made unnecessarily difficult,” states Dietz.
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