Contracting

A big-ticket vendor merger hits EIS

Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu 

The recently announced $33 billion merger between Harris Corp. and L3 won't affect the federal government's emerging next-generation telecommunications contract, according to the companies and observers.

On Oct. 14, defense contractors Harris Corp. and L3 said they would merge to become one of the single largest defense contractors for communications and electronics.

Harris is one of nine contractors for the General Services Administration's 15-year, $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract.

Harris is also the third of the original 10 EIS contractors to undergo a merger as that massive contract moves towards implementation. Last November, EIS contractor CenturyLink acquired Level 3, another EIS contractor, for $24 billion, although the merger had been in the works before GSA awarded the EIS contracts.

GSA noted on its Interact site in late September that there is no longer an EIS contract in Level 3's name, with the company's contract now known as CenturyLink. All of the services offered by both carriers as standalone firms have been incorporated under CenturyLink's EIS contract, the company reported.

Harris Corp. told FCW sister publication Washington Technology in an Oct. 15 conference call with reporters that it didn't anticipate the merger affecting its position on the EIS contract.

A GSA spokesperson sad, "the merger between Harris Corp and L3 will not affect the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract. The EIS award is to Harris Corp and still remains viable."

The Harris-L3 merger, procurement industry expert Larry Allen said, "won't affect EIS competitive landscape" and most likely doesn't represent a strategic change in direction.

The merger and EIS plays to Harris' strengths in communications services with "specific customers" such as Defense Department and the Federal Aviation Administration, he said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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