Business Secretary Vince Cable has opened the door to a possible Government intervention if US firm Pfizer bids to take over British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Although Chancellor George Osborne said he would back "any arrangement" that secured British jobs, his Liberal Democrat colleague said he was "not ruling out intervention".
The Government has the option of putting the bid to a public interest test if it considers that the takeover may harm the British economy.
"One of our options as the Government would be to consider using our public interest test powers," Dr Cable said.
"This would be a serious step and not one that should be taken lightly and I'm open-minded about it while stressing that we are operating in serious European legal constraints."
Pfizer has until Monday until it admits defeat in bidding for AstraZeneca. But after the shenanigans of the past few days we cannot be sure.
AstraZeneca's share price is tumbling back down to earth after the board rejected a "final" Pfizer bid. So is the takeover really over?
Sweden's Finance Minister says the Government should be "very, very sceptical" about any promises the US pharmaceutical giant makes.