Classified protection

UK Competition Minister Gerry Sutcliffe is proposing to accept ‘statutory undertakings’ instead of referring the proposed acquisition of Insys by Lockheed Martin UK to the Competition Commission.


The undertakings from Lockheed Martin UK, which were published in draft for public consultation on 17 August 2005, will provide assurance that programmes and technologies which are important for UK national security are protected.


Sutcliffe’s decision reflects advice from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on jurisdiction, and representations from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on how best to remedy the national security concerns raised by the proposed acquisition.


“The OFT has advised that, should I consider it necessary on national security grounds, I can either refer this merger to the Competition Commission or accept undertakings from Lockheed Martin UK in lieu of such a reference,” said Sutcliffe.


“In line with the MOD’s advice, I am proposing to accept from Lockheed Martin UK certain behavioural undertakings which MOD considers are necessary to ensure the protection of programmes and technologies which are important for UK national security.”


A copy of the new undertakings can be found at http://www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/topics2/mergerspi.htm.


The effects are that Lockheed Martin UK will be required to take certain measures to enable the UK to maintain its strategic capabilities and protect classified information and the intellectual property rights of the MoD.