President Donald Trump on Monday said he has concerns that a merger between United Technologies and Raytheon would harm competition and make it more difficult for the U.S. government to negotiate defense contracts.
“I’m a little concerned about United Technologies and Raytheon,” Trump said in an exclusive interview with CNBC. Aerospace companies have “all merged in so it’s hard to negotiate” with them, he added, suggesting the defense industry could be heading in the same direction.
Asked whether he would have problems with the merger, Trump replied, “Only if they have the same products. That would be the thing that bothers me most.”
“We are complementary, not competitive,” Raytheon CEO Tom Kennedy told CNBC in an interview. “I don’t know the last time we competed against United Technologies.”
Greg Hayes, United Technologies’ CEO and chairman who is slated to be CEO of the new company, once the merger closes, said he looked forward “to talking to the president later today,” about potential job growth under the deal.
Still, the president repeatedly expressed concerns about dwindling competition in aerospace.
“When I hear United and I hear Raytheon, when I hear they’re merging, does that make it less competitive? It’s already not competitive,” Trump said.
“I just want to see competition. They’re two great companies, I love them both. But I want to see that we don’t hurt our competition.”