Defense Giants Raytheon and United Technologies Merge

Trump worries merger will be bad for competition

Two major US arms-makers, Raytheon and United Technologies, have announced on Monday that they have agreed to a merger. The combined company is to be called Raytheon Technologies.

Both companies are extremely influential, and combined will be the second-largest maker of military equipment, with $74 billion in annual sales. President Trump has expressed concern that the merged company would be less competitive, and too powerful.

Raytheon CEO Tom Kennedy downplayed this, saying that the two companies are mostly not competitive with one another in the first place, and will benefit from being able to combine their complementary technologies going forward.

Suggesting that the existing US arms market is any sort of level playing field that the merger might put at risk is going to be difficult in its own right. This week alone Congress is investigating a sacked State Department official, and former Raytheon lobbyist, for pushing through billions of dollars in Raytheon exports while at the State Department, and pushing the administration to bypass Congressional oversight that might threaten those sales.

It seems hard to argue, indeed, that the merger might make these huge companies any more influential, as they already dominate the halls of power in great measure. With the administration obsessed with growing arms exports, parts of the government already work as de facto sales teams for these companies, and it’s hard to imagine, even if some officials have qualms, that they don’t have more than enough influence to push through a merger above any real objections.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.