EC approves ULA

The European Commission has cleared the proposed United Launch Alliance (ULA) joint venture between the US defence and space contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The investigation has shown that the proposed transaction will not significantly impede effective competition in the European Union.

Boeing and Lockheed provide space launch services to governmental and commercial customers. Lockheed is active on the market with its Atlas family of launch vehicles as well as with Proton, a launcher produced in a joint venture with Russian partners. Boeing offers the Delta launch vehicles as well as launchers produced by Sea Launch, also a joint venture with Russian partners. Boeing and Lockheed also produce and market satellites.

ULA, structured as a 50-50 joint venture, will combine the production, engineering, test and launch operations associated with US government launches of Boeing’s Delta and Lockheed’s Atlas rockets. ULA is exclusively intended to serve the US government market for launch services and will not have a direct impact on customers in the EEA.

Lockheed Martin’s International Launch Services (including Proton) and Boeing Launch Services (including Sea Launch) are not included in the joint venture. However, both Lockheed Martin and Boeing will remain active in the commercial market separately, and ULA will supply launchers to its parents for commercial sales.