DOJ Sues to Block Halliburton Deal

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on Wednesday aiming to block Halliburton from acquiring Baker Hughes, alleging that a merger of two of the top three oil services companies would hurt competition in the oil industry. The deal was first announced in November 2014 and was, at the time, worth an estimated $35 billion. According to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, "The proposed deal between Halliburton and Baker Hughes would eliminate vital competition, skew energy markets and harm American consumers. Our action makes clear that the Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing our antitrust laws." In response, Halliburton has said it will "vigorously contest" the suit. "I have seen a lot of problematic mergers in my time," said Bill Baer, head of the department's antitrust division. "But I have never seen one that poses so many antitrust problems in so many markets."