Regarding the Friday letter about defense contracts, “Competition must be unbiased, fair”:
While most of Mr. Michalski’s points are valid, his statement that BAE Systems is a part of the EADS conglomerate is incorrect.
BAE Systems was never a part of EADS, rather it was formerly a co-owner of Airbus, a stake that was inherited from the former British Aerospace. BAE sold its 20 percent ownership in Airbus to EADS in October of 2006.
The company’s semi-autonomous U.S. unit, BAE Systems Inc., is currently one of the largest U.S. defense contractors as the result of numerous acquisitions and mergers.
The U.S. Department of Justice probe of the UK-based BAE Systems is evidently predicated on the fairly slim basis that by allegedly using the U.S. banking system to transfer funds for purposes of bribery, BAE thereby violated U.S. anti-corruption laws. The UK government investigation lasted four years and was ultimately dropped without action against BAE.
On a personal note, yes, I would prefer that Boeing be awarded the tanker contract, for many reasons.