Italian governments has stiffen defenses of domestic businesses vulnerable, to bargain hunting during economic downturn caused by COVID19.

Angelica Donati, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who now leads a real-estate development company in Rome, supports the Italian government’s policy as long as it is temporary. Mr. Conte said the broadening of his golden power rule will last until the end of the year.

“It’s about monitoring hostile takeovers and I think that it makes perfect sense in this climate,” Ms. Donati said in an interview. “It doesn’t stop you from agreeing to a sale. What it stops is raiders coming in and trying to get bargain basement deals.”

Italy has resisted approaches from companies in other EU countries in the past and introduced the golden power rule in 2012 to protect companies vital to defense and national security. It enables the government to veto or impose restrictions on takeovers of companies considered to be strategically important.

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