HL Deb 16 December 1999 vol 608 c63WA
The Earl of Northesk

asked Her Majesty's Government:

To what extent they believe that the German Government's support for Mannesmann against the hostile takeover bid from Vodafone AirTouch is consistent with their third way principles. [HL288]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville

Takeovers are a matter for the shareholders of the companies concerned, subject to consideration by the appropriate regulatory authorities. Whether the German Government's position is consistent with their principles is a matter for them. However, what is essential is that the actions of governments, companies or anyone else are consistent with national and European law. I understand that the two companies themselves have said publicly that they would wish the market, rather than governments, to decide on the merits of the case.