MoneyGram International Inc. and Ant Financial Services Group recently announced the termination of their agreement providing for the acquisition of Texas-based money transfer company MoneyGram by China-based Ant Financial because they were unable to receive approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The decision by the parties to terminate Ant Financial’s proposed acquisition of MoneyGram was reportedly reached after CFIUS rejected proposals by the companies to mitigate national security concerns raised by the transaction. The apparent willingness of CFIUS to block the transaction, had it moved forward, can be traced to two general national security concerns that extend beyond CFIUS, which are also the focus of proposed legislation in Congress. The first is an intensified focus on Chinese investments in U.S. companies, especially in the high-tech sector. The second is a concern about any foreign investment in U.S. companies that would give access to personal or health-related data of U.S. citizens.
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