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US: Antitrust officials hold off on Baker Hughes-Halliburton decision

 |  December 15, 2015

US antitrust officials aren’t satisfied with Halliburton proposals for clearing its purchase of oil services rival Baker Hughes Inc. and don’t expect to announce until next year whether it blesses a deal, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The companies previously agreed to an extension until Tuesday with the Justice Department over the proposed $26 billion merger. The US antitrust officials aren’t obligated to complete their review by today, said the person, who declined to be named because the review is confidential.

The companies can’t close their deal because antitrust officials in Europe, Australia and Brazil are also reviewing how the merger of the world’s No. 2 and No. 3 oil-servicing companies could change the competitive landscape.

When it announced plans to acquire Baker Hughes in November 2014 — a deal valued at $34.6 billion in cash and stock deal at the time — Halliburton said it would divest assets with revenue of as much as $7.5 billion. General Electric Co. is in advanced talks to buy the drill-bits and drilling-services divisions of Halliburton, and is exploring bids for other assets, Bloomberg News reportedearlier this month.

Full content: Reuters

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