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Bates White supports DOJ in its successful challenge of the proposed $34.6 billion merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes

May 27, 2016

On May 1, 2016, oilfield services provider Halliburton announced the termination of a proposed merger with rival Baker Hughes. The merger, which was valued at $34.6 billion when it was announced in November 2014, was challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which sued to block the deal on April 6. Bates White Partner and Duke University Professor Leslie Marx, supported by a Bates White team, prepared as a testifying expert on behalf of DOJ and provided economic analysis of the proposed merger’s competitive effects.

Halliburton had offered to divest certain assets to address DOJ’s concerns about the merger’s competitive effects, but the agency deemed the proposed divestitures inadequate.  DOJ claimed the merger, which would have combined the second- and third-largest oil field services companies in the world, would diminish competition in 23 separate markets. The parties walked away from the deal when their merger agreement expired on April 30. As a result of the deal break-up, Halliburton will pay Baker Hughes a $3.5 billion termination fee.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch called the termination of the deal “a victory for the US economy and for all Americans.” For more information, read DOJ’s statement online