WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Halliburton and Baker Hughes have abandoned a $34 billion planned merger according to the Department of Justice.
The department attempted to block the merger with a suit filed on April 6, claiming the merger would unlawfully eliminate competition in at least 23 oil and gas industry markets across the nation.
“The companies’ decision to abandon this transaction – which would have left many oilfield service markets in the hands of a duopoly – is a victory for the U.S. economy and for all Americans,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said.
Before the department filed its lawsuit, Halliburton offered to divest certain assets to address concerns about competition stemming from the merger. The lawsuit, however, argued that this was not enough, as the divestiture did not include full business units.
“Very few things are as important to our economy as oil and gas,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General David I. Gelfand of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said. “But the merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes would have raised prices, decreased output and lessened innovation in at least 23 oilfield products and services critical to the nation’s energy supply. We achieved the only result that could adequately protect American consumers – an abandonment of this unlawful merger.