Worried About Big Tech? Meet Big Aerospace

By Brooke Sutherland, Bloomberg

In a previous life at Bloomberg, I wrote about mergers and acquisitions, including a handful of deals that collapsed under U.S. regulatory scrutiny such as Anthem Inc.’s failed pursuit of Cigna Corp. and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s rebuffed overtures to Norfolk Southern Corp. Health insurance and railroads are consolidated industries of national import, so a tough stance by regulators made sense. But the same could be said of aerospace. After all, the domestic air-travel network is considered such critical infrastructure that the U.S. government has now allocated almost $150 billion for grants and loans to support airlines, contractors, manufacturers, airports and their employees through the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why it has always been curious to me that the aerospace giants have largely skirted U.S. antitrust scrutiny in recent years. The topic is newly relevant after AerCap Holdings NV announced last week that it would acquire a majority stake in General Electric Co.’s GECAS jet-leasing business for a total consideration of more than $30 billion.

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