UK Says Baker Hughes-Altus Deal May Hurt Competition in Oil Well Services

(Reuters) Britain’s competition watchdog said on Tuesday that U.S.-listed oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Co’s acquisition of Altus Intervention could reduce competition among UK oil and gas operators.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was concerned that the loss of rivalry between the merging companies could lead to higher prices, reduced choice, and lower quality services for businesses in the UK that purchase coiled tubing and pumping services.

Both Baker Hughes and Altus supply various well intervention services – essential services used by oil and gas operators to manage well production – in the UK.

The companies did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The CMA said its Phase 1 investigation found that Baker Hughes would face competition from only one major supplier – Halliburton HAL.N – after the deal between the two largest providers of both coiled tubing and pumping services in the UK. 

The regulator said Baker Hughes and Altus have five working days to submit proposals to address its concerns, otherwise, the watchdog will refer the deal to an in-depth Phase 2 probe.

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