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nader statement on lockheed-northrup merger
STATEMENT BY RALPH NADER IN OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED LOCKHEED-NORTHRUP
For immediate release, For more information:
July 3, 1997 Ralph Nader, 202-387-8034
Today's merger announcement by Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman --
coming, not coincidentally, two days after the Federal Trade Commission's
approval of the Boeing-McDonnell Douglas merger and one day after the
Department of Justice's approval of the Raytheon-Texas Instruments
marriage -- signals the collapse of the deterrent effect of antitrust law.
Lockheed and Northrup compete in the same market of fighter jets and
related technologies. Their merger would reduce competition, increasing
prices to the Pentagon and creating futher conditions in which waste and
fraud can flourish.
Unlike in the case of McDonnell Douglas, federal regulators will not be
able to fall back on the excuse that either of these companies are not
viable. Lockheed and Northrup are both profitable and strong. Lockheed CEO
Norman Augustine says both companies are "healthy." Northrup CEO Kent
Krusa says Northrup is now "in the strongest position in our history."
If this merger is approved, what will be left of antitrust doctrine so
that the antitrust enforcement staff should go to work every day?
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