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FTC moves to block Lockheed Martin’s acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne

The Federal Trade Commission has sued to block Lockheed Martin’s purchase for $4.4 billion the rocket engine company Aerojet Rocketdyne.

The FTC apparently believes that the acquisition would give Lockheed Martin an unfair competitive advantage. It could refuse to sell Aerojet’s engines to the competitors who depend on them. It also would be able to obtain some of its competitors’ proprietary information through Aerojet.

This quote from the article however explains this action more accurately:

Over the past year, Lockheed Martin has argued that the merger should follow the same template as Northrop Grumman’s acquisition in 2018 of solid rocket motors manufacturer Orbital ATK. The Northrop-Orbital deal was approved by regulators on condition that the company agreed to supply motors to its competitors.

“The FTC during the Biden administration has taken a different view on market concentration and vertical integration than the last one, which approved the Northrop Grumman-Orbital ATK deal,” noted industry analyst Byron Callan, of Capital Alpha Partners. [emphasis mine]

This appears to be more evidence that Democratic Party control of the White House is resulting in more regulation and greater interference in the private sector. In this particular case that interference might very well cause Aerojet Rocketdyne to shut down entirely, since its customer base has been disappearing. It isn’t garnering any new customers because its rocket engines cost too much. Folded into Lockheed Martin the company might be reshaped and become productive and competitive again. Unfortunately, the Biden administration thinks it knows better, and might prevent that from happening.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Jeff Wright

    One good thing about mergers is how two groups of engineers can now share notes.

  • pawn

    Bezos ought to snag Aerojet. He would definitely up his market position..

  • Jay

    What a thought. I can see it now, B.O. grabs them and the Aerojet employees give a fresh view on the BE-4. Yes, the BE-4 is at the tail end of its development, but fresh eyes can pick up on problems fast. Imagine the second stage of New Glenn with a J-2 engine instead of the BE-3.

  • Star Bird

    That’s what we get under the Stupid Jackass Party(Liberal Democrats)the usial liberal stupidity

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