A big-ticket vendor merger hits EIS

The Harris-L3 merger won't significantly impact the $50 billion federal Enterprise Infrastructure Services contract, the companies report.

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.