Boeing Settles FTC Concerns Over Rockwell

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Boeing Co. has agreed to restrict its space launch business and to give up work on an unmanned high-altitude aircraft in order to settle federal antitrust charges, the Federal Trade Commission said. The FTC had charged that Boeing's $3.2-billion acquisition of Seal Beach-based Rockwell International's aerospace and defense businesses could violate antitrust law by reducing competition in the two types of business. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are current partners in a project to build a high-altitude endurance unmanned aircraft for the Defense Department. Competing with them is a project by Teledyne Ryan, which includes Rockwell as manufacturer of the craft's wings. By acquiring Rockwell, Boeing became part of both projects and could increase the price of components it supplied or reduce its investment, the FTC said. Under terms of the settlement, Teledyne Ryan will be permitted to replace Rockwell as a supplier at no cost, and Boeing will be required to provide Teledyne Ryan with the components, tooling, engineering and design data and technical help to produce the wings. The settlement forbids Boeing from making any information obtained as a propulsion supplier available to its launch vehicle division. Boeing's purchase of the Rockwell division is expected to be completed today.

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