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Halliburton-Baker Hughes Accord Might be Rejected by DOJ

The $35-billion merger between Halliburton Company HAL and Baker Hughes may have to step back. The deal faces the risk of being blocked by the Department of Justice (DOJ), as per New York Post.  

In detail, the regulators thought that if Halliburton merges with Baker Hughes then the oil field service industry will be dominated by the combined company and Schlumberger Limited SLB, the largest oilfield service player. In order to fetch regulatory approval, Halliburton had planned to divest assets worth $7.5 billion, which is not enough according to the DOJ.

However, the DOJ might reject the accord during the annual antitrust conference of American Bar Association on Wednesday as the last offer of Halliburton is not enough.

The saddest part of story is that in an unfavorable business scenario following low oil and gas prices, there are not enough buyers for Halliburton’s assets. As per the report, General Electric Company – one of the largest and the most diversified technology and financial services firms in the world – is only willing to purchase part of the properties while Weatherford International plc WFT dropped out.   

The Halliburton-Baker Hughes merger is being doubted not only by the U.S. Antitrust officials from Europe are also slated to announce their decision by Jul 11.

Investors should also know that the DOJ has sued hedge fund ValueAct as it has not disclosed its significant interests in both Halliburton and Baker Hughes to the regulatory bodies.

Houston, TX-based Halliburton, an oilfield service provider, currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), implying that it will significantly underperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

However, a better-ranked stock in the energy sector is Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC VNR, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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WEATHERFORD INT (WFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SCHLUMBERGER LT (SLB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HALLIBURTON CO (HAL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VANGUARD NATURL (VNR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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