U.S. antitrust officials have prepared a lawsuit to stop Halliburton Co. from taking over rival oil-services company Baker Hughes Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department plans to file the lawsuit seeking to block the deal as soon as this week, claiming it violates antitrust laws by eliminating competition between the firms, said the person, who asked not to be named because the investigation is confidential.
An offer by Halliburton and Baker Hughes to sell assets to resolve the government’s concerns wasn’t satisfactory, the person said. The takeover, valued at $34.6 billion when it was announced in November 2014, would unite the No. 2 and No. 3 oil-services firms behind Schlumberger Ltd. Doubts about the deal continued even after Halliburton offered to sell additional assets, people have said.