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US Asks UTC To Divest Two Aerospace Businesses To Proceed Rockwell Collins Deal

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will require United Technologies Corp. (UTX) to divest two businesses critical to the safe operation of aircraft to proceed with its acquisition of Rockwell Collins.

First, UTC will divest Rockwell Collins's pneumatic ice protection systems business. Pneumatic ice protection systems remove ice from the wing of an aircraft by means of an inflatable rubber de-icing boot. Second, UTC will divest Rockwell Collins's trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuators (THSAs) business. THSAs ensure that an aircraft maintains altitude during flight by adjusting the angle of the horizontal tail surface.

The Department's Antitrust Division today filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin the proposed acquisition, along with a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive concerns alleged in the lawsuit.

The Department said that, without the divestitures, the proposed acquisition would lessen competition substantially in the market for ice protection systems, by combining two of the world's three suppliers of pneumatic ice protection systems, and in the market for THSAs, by combining two of the world's leading producers of THSAs.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, UTC must divest Rockwell Collins's ice protection systems business to an acquirer approved by the United States. UTC also must divest Rockwell Collins's THSA business to Safran S.A., an established aerospace supplier, or an alternate acquirer approved by the United States.

The Antitrust Division, the European Commission, and the Competition Bureau of Canada cooperated closely throughout the course of their respective investigations.

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