The Department of Defense today advised the Department of Justice (DoJ) Antitrust Division that, after completion of a thorough review, it has no objection to the proposed merger between Newport News Shipbuilding and Avondale Industries.
The Department's review was triggered when the companies notified DoJ of their plan on Jan. 22, 1999, pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act. Under this act, DoD must notify DoJ within 30 days of the transaction being filed whether it has any concerns with the proposed combination. The response deadline is Sunday, Feb. 21, leaving today as the last business day before the deadline.
The Department's determination in this case reflects only its assessment that this particular combination would not have an adverse impact on competition to build and repair Navy ships. DoD's assessment is unrelated to yesterday's announcement that General Dynamics has made an unsolicited offer to buy Newport News Shipbuilding.
Newport News Shipbuilding has asked for DoD's assessment of the General Dynamics proposal. The Department is evaluating this request.
DoD continues to support mergers that reduce excess capacity or lower costs, and sustain competition on its programs.