The Department of Justice initiated anti-trust investigations of Haliburton and Baker Hughes because of possible anti-competitive practices. DOJ spokeswoman, Gina Talamona, confirmed the investigation in a statement on July 25, 2013. Both Baker Hughes and Haliburton are cooperating with the investigation, but not specifying what information is being requested by the DOJ. According to an article by Reuters Baker Hughes was asked to turn over documents and records for the two years prior to May 30, including records from 2011.
Recently, according to news sources, an increasing number of hydraulic fracturing equipment suppliers caused prices in the equipment market to decline substantially. In 2011, however, pumping capacity in North America increased by fifty percent, and Haliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger controlled a large portion of the market.
For more information on the investigation, follow the coverage by Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal online.
Written by: Garrett Lent, Research Assistant
Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center