US FTC blocks Lockheed Martin $4.4 billion acquisition
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued to block Lockheed Martin’s proposed $4.4 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings on 25 January.
Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings is the last independent US supplier of missile propulsion systems, which are critical components for the missiles made by all US defence companies.
Aerojet and only one other competitor, Northrop Grumman, currently compete to provide solid rocket motors for missile systems, hypersonic cruise missiles and supersonic combustion ramjets.
Moreover, Aerojet is the only proven US supplier of divert-and-attitude control systems that propel missile defence kill vehicles.
The FTC alleges that if the acquisition was to take place, then Lockheed would gain a monopoly on the missile supply chain and potentially limit supply to its competitors.
Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC Bureau of Competition, commented: ‘Without competitive pressure, Lockheed can jack up the price the US government has to pay’.
Lockheed Martin responded to Shephard, declining to comment on the pending litigation but stating: ‘We are reviewing the FTC’s complaint and will respond in due course.’
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