Moreover, the resulting entity would have a complete monopoly over the relevant domestic market for all training and tactical 120 millimeter tank ammunition. This showing, in itself, is adequate for plaintiff to demonstrate a substantial likelihood that the merger will "substantially . . . lessen competition or . . . tend to create a monopoly," as prohibited by § 7 of the Clayton Act.
Defendants have presented testimony that suggests the Army supports the merger and that the acquisition is, therefore, in the public interest. The defendants called as witnesses Stephen K. Conver, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition, and Colonel Franklin Y. Hartline, Program Manager, Tank Main Armament Systems at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal. Both witnesses indicated a professional and individual preference for the merger and sole source procurement of the five-year contract over a competitive bid. Colonel Hartline, however, testified that "the Army's . . . policy is it has no objection to the merger, it's not for it or against it." P.I. Tr. at 133. Conver, the officer authorized to represent the official Army position, testified that the Army "has no objection to the proposed merger," and "takes no official position concerning the antitrust implications of this transaction." Conver Declaration, Def. Ex. 7 P 2.
It remains theoretically and legally possible that if the non-competitive sole source bid is too high, the Army could manufacture one or all of the varieties of the product with its own resources. It is also theoretically possible that another private source might appear. However, Alliant and Olin are well-qualified to produce all the varieties of the product. Both companies are involved in the production of all current training and tactical rounds. Alliant, in addition, helped develop both types of advanced tactical rounds. Entry into the market by either the Army or a new private source likely would be more costly and time consuming than would the development and production by either Alliant or Olin of the rounds presently contracted from the other. Thus, if the monopoly created by the merger abuses its power, it is not likely to be broken by a new entry or restrained by a threat thereof.
The public interest in market competition for a product paid for directly by the taxpayers and protection of the product against monopoly power is manifest and is defined by Congress in the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 12 et seq., and the Competition in Contracting Act. 10 U.S.C. § 3604. This public interest would be best served if the merger did not occur.
Overhanging the conventional public interest considerations is the possible risk in this case that a national emergency could find the Army short of advanced 120 millimeter tactical ammunition. There is evidence that the merged companies may require less time to fulfill the requirements of the new contract than would the survivor of a competition between Alliant and Olin. An unforeseen emergency could develop in that window of time. The Army, however, has not intervened directly or through the Department of Justice to oppose this merger for this or any other reason. The Army's official position is unconcern. With all respect for the two conscientious and impressive Army witnesses who testified on behalf of the defendants, their testimony regarding risk was too muted and speculative to overcome the critical fact that the Army as an institution does not recommend the merger or seek to bar the injunction of it.
There is a "presumption in favor of a preliminary injunction when the Commission establishes a strong likelihood of success on the merits." F.T.C. v. PPG Industries, 255 U.S. App. D.C. 69, 798 F.2d 1500, 1507 (D.C. Cir. 1986). Defendants' invocation of the public interest in avoiding risk has failed to overcome that presumption here.
For the foregoing reasons, and for additional reasons to be stated in a Supplemental Memorandum, an accompanying Order will enjoin the merger and order expedited adjudication of the merits by the Commission.
Date: November 18, 1992
Louis F. Oberdorfer
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
ORDER - November 18, 1992, Filed
Plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission, moves pursuant to § 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), for an injunction against the acquisition by defendant Alliant Techsystems Inc. of any voting securities, assets, or any other interest, directly or indirectly, in Olin Corporation pending decision by the Commission on the question of whether the acquisition is unlawful. The parties have filed and the Court has considered extensive briefs and exhibits in support of, and in opposition to, the motion. At a hearing on November 16, 1992, defendants adduced oral testimony and counsel for both parties made oral arguments. For reasons stated in an accompanying Memorandum and in a Supplemental Memorandum to be filed, it is this 18th day of November, 1992, at 3:00 p.m., E.S.T., hereby
ORDERED: that plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunctive relief should be, and is hereby, GRANTED; and it is further
ORDERED: that defendant Alliant Techsystems Inc. is hereby ENJOINED, pursuant to section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), from acquiring any voting securities, assets, or any other interest, directly or indirectly, in Olin Corporation; and it is further
ORDERED: that defendant Alliant Techsystems Inc. shall take any and all necessary steps to prevent any of its domestic or foreign agents, divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, partnerships, or joint ventures from making such acquisition; and it is further
ORDERED: that on or before November 20, 1992, defendant Alliant Techsystems Inc. and intervenor-defendant Olin Corporation shall show cause, if any there be, why each should not return all confidential information received directly or indirectly from the other and destroy all notes relating to such information; and it is further
ORDERED: that Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Olin Corporation shall, in the foregoing, and all other, respects, maintain the status quo pending the issuance of an administrative complaint by the Commission and until such complaint is dismissed by the Commission or set aside on review or until the order of the Commission made thereon has become final; and it is further
ORDERED: that the Commission shall expedite action on the matter before it; and it is further
ORDERED: that, on or before 4:30 p.m., November 19, 1992, any party may file any motion relating to the sealing of pleadings, exhibits or transcripts which the party deems to be indicated.
Louis F. Oberdorfer
United States District Judge