December 22, 2015 / 11:35 PM / 3 years ago

Pentagon eyes proposal for M&A changes in 'weeks'

US Defense Acquisition Chief Frank Kendall speaks to journalists at a news conference at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, southern England July 14, 2014. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies should complete a legislative proposal in coming weeks to let regulators block proposed mergers for national security reasons, instead of just antitrust concerns, a top official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall, who oversees arms weapons acquisitions and industrial base issues for the Pentagon, made the comments in an interview, after first mentioning the legislative push in September.

In September he raised concerns about further consolidation among the biggest players in the U.S. weapons industry.

At the time, Kendall said the U.S. Justice Department cleared Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) $9 billion takeover of Sikorsky Aircraft because there was no direct anti-competitive issue, but the Pentagon did not want to see its industrial base whittled down to two or three very large suppliers.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrew Hay

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