Martin-Lockheed merger clears antitrust hurdle


WASHINGTON -- Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp. expect to complete their proposed $10 billion merger early next year, after resolving antitrust issues during closed-door negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission.

People knowledgeable about the companies' talks with FTC staff say the two sides have signed a consent agreement to pave the way for the merger without requiring significant divestitures.

The agreement, which still must be approved by commissioners at FTC, does place restrictions on the companies' ability to enter into exclusive teaming arrangements with other firms to submit joint bids for satellite projects. The commission is expected to vote on the agreement in early January.

The merger will create the nation's largest defense and aerospace company, based in Bethesda.

A Lockheed spokesman declined comment about the reported consent agreement, which was first reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. But the company said it expects to complete the merger by early 1995. A Martin Marietta spokeswoman also declined comment.

The merger review has been complicated because it involved the Pentagon in a balancing of antitrust concerns with the Defense Depart- ment's needs for military suppliers.

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