Halliburton’s takeover of Baker Hughes continues to be stuck in regulatory review almost 1.5 years later.
This week, the deal’s closure was again stalled by European regulators as EU anti-trust officials halted their investigation saying that information is missing from their requests. The EU commission has expressed concerns about competition being reduced by the deal.
Perhaps some of the regulators concern is stemming from the private sector. This week, Bloomberg reported that Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne voiced concerns over the deal.
From the Bloomberg report:
“Obviously when you have less competition in service providers, I’m not in favor,” Pouyanne said in an interview in New Orleans at the Scotia Howard Weil Energy Conference. When asked if he voiced his opinion on Halliburton planning to buy Baker Hughes, he said, “I’m doing my job.”
As a leading European operator, Total’s interests are important to regulators, and could be part of the reason EU anti-trust bureaucrats have been dragging their feet on the deal. Other companies that have been vocal in their opposition of the merger include Chevron Brazil and Sonangol.