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National Law Center, George Washington University




On July 1, 1997, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) closed its investigation of the merger of the Boeing Company (Boeing) and the McDonnell Douglas Corporation (McDonnell Douglas), essentially approving the merger. The proposed $14 billion merger was quite significant, as it would unite the first and third largest civil aircraft companies in the world. Although the proposed merger had passed muster under U.S. antitrust laws, Boeing still faced the obstacle of gaining approval from the European Commission (EC), the antitrust enforcement agency of the European Union (EU). The EC initially sought to reject the merger and to levy heavy penalties on Boeing and McDonnell Douglas if they continued with the planned structure of the merger. The EC finally approved the merger of the companies on July 30, 1997, but only after Boeing had acceded to major concessions, resulting partly from political pressure from the Clinton Administration.

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