The European Commission (EC) has cleared Northrop Grumman's planned $7.8 billion purchase of TRW, despite efforts by Lockheed Martin to block the deal. The takeover is still under review in the USA, where Northrop Grumman has given the Department of Justice more time to complete its review although the legal deadline for antitrust action has expired.

Lockheed Martin claims a Northrop Grumman takeover of TRW's defence and space business will reduce competition for satellite communications and sensor payloads.

But the US Department of Defense supports the merger, and the EC has ruled the deal will have marginal effect in Europe. Northrop Grumman still expects to close the deal by year-end, boosting annual revenues to $26 billion.

Source: Flight International