Skip to main content

The Stakes Have Never Been Higher.

In the face of existential emergencies to humanity, Common Dreams is facing other potentially fatal threats to our funding model. Please support our nonprofit journalism and help us reach our $75,000 Mid-Year Campaign goal.

'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

Please select a donation method:

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Missiles stand at a Raytheon installation during the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England, in July 2018. (Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Raytheon and United Technologies Announce Merger to Create 'Military-Industrial Behemoth'

The proposed merger "should be dead on arrival," said one anti-trust advocate

In a move that immediately sparked concerns among anti-trust advocates, weapons manufacturer Raytheon and aerospace giant United Technologies agreed Sunday to a $120 billion merger that was described as one of the largest-ever combinations of two defense contractors.

The merger, if approved by the government and the two companies' shareholders, would create what the Washington Post described as a "military-industrial behemoth" with the power to rival Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor.

"The company should be expected to make a strong play for the Defense Department's emerging hypersonic missiles programs," the Post reported. "It also will give Raytheon a sizable foothold in the commercial aerospace market for the first time in recent memory. Before the combination, the lion's share of Raytheon's revenue came from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies."

On Twitter, anti-trust advocate Daniel Hanley said the United Technologies and Raytheon merger "should be dead on arrival."

In an interview on CNBC Monday, President Donald Trump—otherwise a fan of large weapons companies—also expressed concern about the proposed merger.

"When I hear United and I hear Raytheon, when I hear they're merging, does that make it less competitive? It's already not competitive," Trump said. "I just want to see competition. They're two great companies, I love them both. But I want to see that we don't hurt our competition."

Matt Stoller, fellow at the non-profit Open Markets Institute, said Trump is correct to raise anti-competition concerns over the proposed merger—while expressing skepticism that the president will hold to that position.

According to an in-depth investigation by In These Times published last month, Raytheon is one of the major providers of missiles and other weaponry to Saudi Arabia, which—with the backing of the United States—has been waging a vicious assault on Yemen since 2015.

"Saudi Arabia's precision-guided munitions are responsible for the vast majority of deaths documented by human rights groups," In These Times found. "[S]ince 2009, Saudi Arabia has ordered more than 27,000 missiles worth at least $1.8 billion from Raytheon alone."

As Common Dreams reported, Trump is pushing to allow Raytheon to build high-tech bomb parts in Saudi Arabia.

Critics warned that such a move would hand Saudi Arabia the technological capacity to build their own deadly high-tech weaponry, which the kingdom could use to ramp up its bombing campaign in Yemen and continue fueling the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

"Trump backs Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen and sells them bombs they drop on children," Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted last week. "Now he wants Raytheon to help Saudis develop their own weapons. Congress must stop this president from doing the bidding of the arms industry and this brutal regime."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Support progressive journalism.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Progressives Alarmed by Privatization Dub Infrastructure Deal a 'Disaster in the Making'

"Communities across the country have been ripped off by public-private schemes that enrich corporations and Wall Street investors and leave the rest of us to pick up the tab."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'We Must Not Stand Down': 270+ Arrested at Anti-Logging Protests in Canada

A battle over old-growth forests is raging in British Columbia.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


US Lawmakers Demand EU 'Do the Right Thing or Get Out of the Way' on Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Waivers

"A global recovery requires a global response based on health needs—not Big Pharma," said Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García at a rally.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


'Horrible and Unconscionable Betrayal': Biden DOJ Backs Trump Line 3 Approval

"You are siding with a handful of corrupt corporate elites over honoring treaty rights, climate, water, and the future of life on Earth."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'We Can't Wait': Thousands in DC Demand Bold Action on Climate, Immigration, and Jobs

"All of us have got to stand together and tell the billionaire class that our time is now," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·