The Pentagon’s top product and services buyer made it official this week that the would no longer advocate for greater authority to regulate GovCon merger-and-acquisition activities that involve the large primes.
Frank Kendall told an audience at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Tuesday the Defense Department discovered it has more power than previously thought over M&A, according to a Defense News report.
As previously described in this space, Kendall’s office started a push in the fall for more regulatory oversight with regards to consolidation among the largest prime government contractors with a particular focus on those in the defense arena.
Then in April, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission released a public letter that sought to reiterate their authority over M&A but also acknowledged their reliance on DoD for direction due to the defense industry’s “particular aspects” such as high barriers to entry that make the sector different from others in the commercial world.
The composition of GovCon’s largest platform and product makers appears likely to remain as is and not go through another “Last Supper” consolidation wave that occurred in the mid-1990s.
On the flipside, consolidation among the sectors’ services-oriented companies has been well-documented over the past two years in light of flat or shrinking budgets plus changing nature of contracts to more price-conscious methods and shared vehicles with multiple awardees.
In case you missed it Sunday morning, GovCon Wire’s lead reporter Ross Wilkers spoke to WMAL radio’s “National Defense Week” program hosted by Francis ROse for a segment to discuss the M&A landscape and first quarter earnings season for defense giants.
Click here to listen to the full 8-minute conversation.
THE WEEK’S TOP 10 GOVCON STORIES