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Reports: Frank Kendall, Ashton Carter Against ‘Excessive’ Mergers in Defense Industry

Frank Kendall
Frank Kendall

Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall urges Congress to explore potential measures that limit mergers between prime defense contractors to maintain diversity in the marketplace, Defense News reported Wednesday.

Aaron Mehta and Andrew Clevenger write that Kendall indicated the Defense Department‘s plan to work with lawmakers on tools and policies that monitor merger activity and promote open competition in the defense industrial base.

“The trend toward fewer and larger prime contractors has the potential to affect innovation; limit the supply base; pose entry barriers to small, medium and large businesses; and ultimately reduce competition,” Kendall said in a statement.

He added that excessive mergers in the industry ultimately lead to higher prices and affect the taxpayer.

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

The report said Kendall’s statement comes after news of the Justice Department‘s approval of Lockheed Martin‘s acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft, which the acquisition chief has said he does not plan to block.

Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters also reports that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has echoed Kendall’s view at a briefing with reporters.

“[It is] important to avoid excessive consolidation in the defense industry to the point where we did not have multiple vendors who could compete with one another on many programs,” Carter said.

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