Feb 14, 2022 - Economy & Business

FTC's Lina Khan two-for-two in merger block attempts after Lockheed calls off deal

FTC chair Lina Khan

FTC chair Lina Khan. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) terminated its $4.4 billion agreement to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD), following opposition from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: FTC chair Lina Khan is now two-for-two in merger block attempts, following Nvidia bailing on Arm, without having to make her case in court. It's also a win for commercial space upstarts like SpaceX, as the deal was designed to help thwart upstart defense contracting competition.

History: Lockheed announced the all-cash deal in late 2020, while the FTC sued last month.

The bottom line: "The unraveling merger complicates Lockheed's efforts to develop hypersonic weapons, a critical U.S. defense imperative, after the company had planned to bring Aerojet's propulsion systems in-house. It also raises questions for Aerojet, which now faces a proxy battle as its leaders spar over the defense supplier's future." — Julie Johnsson, Bloomberg

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