Honeywell (NYSE:HON ) is a major American multinational corporation that produces electronic control systems and automation equipment. It is a major supplier of engineering services and avionics for NASA Boeing and the United States Department of Defense.
Honeywell was one of the eight major computer companies (with IBM - the largest, Burroughs, Scientific Data Systems, Control Data Corporation, General Electric, RCA and Univac) through most of the 1960s.
In Freeport, Illinois they have a plant operating at seven sigma quality. In 2000 the plant didn't have a single defect in 11 million shipped components. When Jack Welch saw the plant in 2001 he said he was "blown away" because he'd "never seen a plant operate with that kind of efficiency".
Honeywell attempted to merge with General Electric in 2001, at which time Honeywell was valued at over $40Bn. The merger was cleared by American authorities but was blocked by the European Commission's Competition Commissioner, Mario Monti. This decision was taken on the grounds that with GE's dominance of the jet engine market and Honeywell's portfolio of regional jet engines and avionics the new company would be able to "bundle" products and stifle competition, in much the same way that Microsoft has been accused of decimating its rivals, with the "bundled" Windows Media Player or Internet Explorer for example.
- US and Europe split on GE takeover of Honeywell - 21 June 2001