Technology is critical in business. Whether it’s about the largest and fastest-growing companies having technology at the core of their business model, financial institutions developing new ways to commercialise their services or industrials relying heavily on technology for their products––technology is top of mind. Houthoff’s Technology team consists of many lawyers with a strong focus and in-depth knowledge of the technology aspects of your business. Our Technology specialists understand the opportunities and risks when dealing with joint ventures, IP and technology agreements, tech-driven M&A, privacy and data protection, fintech, ecommerce law, competition law or litigation.
In Tech, Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI“) screening – besides competition screening – increasingly determines the feasibility of transactions. FDI screening has been rapidly introduced and made more stringent, especially in Western countries like the Netherlands that previously had no such screening mechanism. The scope of FDI screening has also widened in recent years. Not only archetypical topics such as critical infrastructure and goods for military purposes are included. More and more important technologies (such as specialised semiconductors or software for payment systems) are subject to FDI screening.
Technology has changed the financial sector, including the previously existing license requirements and prohibitions for banking, intermediation, consumer credit and insurance. Instead, digital activities such as payment and crypto processing services have also been brought under licensing requirements, even when the cash equivalent was (or is) allowed.
Our Financial Regulatory team helps both commercial and financial institutions determine which rules apply and discern the best solution for the activities planned.
Technology disrupts not only the business world but also the tax space. Technology and especially tech companies have had a significant impact on recent changes and will impact the changes to come. The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS“) initiative, State aid investigations, Pillar 1 and Pillar 2, digital services taxes and the Inclusive Framework have been mainly driven by technological developments and tech companies. Technological developments also allow tax administrations to increase the visibility of the relevant facts and circumstances for taxpayers, allowing taxpayers to assess them better and more quickly.
The M&A market for software-deals is thriving. The number of deals and deal value have reached an all-time high in 2020. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world, the M&A market for software companies was resilient and benefited from the increased use of cloud-based solutions during lockdown measures. The increasing interest in software companies by non-tech companies and financial investors has also further accelerated growth.
The financial markets are changing faster than ever before, due to large- scale disruptive innovations like Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and AI solutions as well as numerous start-ups. Houthoff’s FinTech team has deep-rooted experience in the financial market and IT. They play a leading role in today’s FinTech developments. Our specialists advise a wide range of Dutch and international financial institutions and parties on a broad array of financial regulatory matters.
The increasing use of personal data by companies, governments and institutions has led to a data protection legal framework that is in continuous development. Almost every organisation processes personal data, such as information on employees, business contacts, patients or customers. Our specialists gained specific expertise within a number of sectors, including E-commerce, Automotive, FinTech, Real Estate, Financial Services and Insurance, Healthcare and Retail.
Last updated May 2022