Spanish authorities reportedly plan to carefully probe a move by stc to take a stake in Telefonica, with various outlets citing concerns over the potential impact on national security given the operator’s status as a defence contractor.

Nadia Calvino, first deputy PM, cited the strategic importance of Telefonica to Spain as she told press the government was looking into stc’s move after the operator informed it of the investment, Reuters reported.

Reuters explained Spain’s government implemented various changes following the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic to protect its national interests, one of which includes an ability to put the stoppers on any deal involving the acquisition of stakes exceeding 10 per cent by companies located outside the European Union or trade area.

The politician reportedly said Spain will carefully explore the security implications and what level of control stc would hold over Telefonica, among other areas.

Barron’s reported Calvino committed to defend Spain’s national interests, with both news outlets also citing comments made on social media by second deputy PM Yolanda Diaz that the nation needs beefier rules around takeovers of strategic assets.