FTC Objects to $4.4 Billion Acquisition of Defense Contractor, Citing Antitrust Concerns

  • The FTC sued the world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., the last independent U.S. supplier of missile propulsion systems, to block Lockheed Martin’s proposed $4.4 billion vertical acquisition of Aerojet for allegedly being harmful to competition and violating the FTC Act and the Clayton Act.
  • The complaint alleges that the proposed merger will consolidate multiple markets critical to national security and thereby harm the interests of the U.S. government by driving up the cost of missile systems and related items, and also will stifle innovation. The complaint further alleges that the acquisition of Aerojet would give Lockheed Martin control over critical missile propulsion components required by its rivals to compete against Lockheed Martin.
  • The complaint’s notice of contemplated relief requests the FTC to order a prohibition against the acquisition, or in the event that the acquisition is consummated, divestiture of all associated assets in a manner that restores two or more distinct and separate businesses in the relevant markets, among other things.