Federal suit to stop deal between 2 oilfield services firms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has sued to stop Halliburton Co. from acquiring oilfield services rival Baker Hughes Inc.

The deal would combine two of the world’s three leading providers of those services to oil and gas companies. It would create a bigger rival to the industry leader, Schlumberger Ltd.

But Justice Department officials say in their lawsuit that the Halliburton-Baker Hughes deal threatens to raise prices and eliminate competition.

The suit was filed in federal court in Delaware, where both companies are incorporated.

Halliburton and Baker Hughes announced their plan to combine in November 2014, shortly after oil prices began to fall. The Justice Department says the deal was valued at $34 billion.

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