IS YOUR COMPANY GOING CONTRACTOR SHOPPING? JUSTICE IS WATCHING
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are actively monitoring federal contractors, especially defense contractors, for merger and acquisition activity in order to ensure that the defense industrial base remains diverse and competition remains high. According to Federal News Radio the two agencies released a joint statement April 12th “reaffirming the importance of preserving competition in the defense industry.” “In light of recent speculation about possible future consolidation, we thought it timely to reinforce that message.” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer in the FNR article. Traditional defense contractors might find the DOJ/FTC position ironic given senior DOD leadership’s love affair with anything that comes from Silicon Valley, a move made purposely to move away from traditional contractors and find innovation. It is unclear whether the DOJ/FTC stance would extend to such companies. It is notable that commercial companies, that also do business with DOD, have been very active in the commercial company acquisition space, potentially creating an uneven playing field between commercial item contractors and “DOD-mostly” firms. The bottom line for traditional contractors, however, is clear: if you’re considering a merger or acquisition deal, make sure you have anti-trust council at your elbow.