Baker Hughes Stock Falls on Antitrust Issues in Halliburton Deal


Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co's (NYSE:HAL) acquisition of smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc is facing resistance from U.S. regulators who are concerned that the deal could hurt competition, Bloomberg reported.

Justice Department lawyers reviewing the proposed $35 billion deal are worried that the oilfield services industry would become too concentrated post the merger, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

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Halliburton spokeswoman Susie McMichael said in an email to Reuters that the company was fully committed to its target of closing the acquisition in late 2015.

Baker Hughes declined to comment.

The Bloomberg report comes less than two weeks after the companies said the U.S. Department of Justice had extended its review of the deal.

Halliburton's offer for Baker Hughes is being scrutinized by regulators in several countries as the companies have overlapping businesses in the United States, Asia and Europe.

Halliburton, which has put up three drilling businesses for sale to alleviate regulatory concerns, said on Monday that it was "pleased with the prices and level of interest" it had received.

The company also said it was confident of achieving cost synergies of nearly $2 billion from the Baker Hughes deal.

Shares of Baker Hughes were down about 9 percent at $55.19 in early afternoon trading after being halted earlier in the day for volatility. Halliburton was down 4 percent at $40.19.

(Reporting by Sneha Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)