BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Commission (EC) has suspended its investigation into Halliburton’s merger bid for fellow Houston-based oilfield service provider Baker Hughes, filing its decision last week, according to the European Union’s website.
The deferment was triggered because some needed information, requested under Article 11(3) of the EC’s Merger Regulation, was not divulged by the companies,
The Commission refers to such an action as a “stopping the clock.” A new deadline to rule on the $35 billion deal will be established once the missing details have been obtained.
“This is a standard procedure on merger investigations which is activated if the notifying parties do not provide an important piece of information that the Commission has requested from them,” Ricardo Cardoso, spokesperson for Competition Policy of the European Commission, told Offshore. “The clock is then stopped until such missing information is supplied the deadline for the decision date will be adjusted accordingly.”
The EC announced in January that it opened an in-depth investigation to determine if the proposed acquisition would “impede effective competition in breach of the EU Merger Regulation.”
The deadline on the lumbering deal has been extended multiple times, most recently on Feb. 2, when it was extended for 20 days.
The US Department of Justice announced in December that it discussions with the two companies were still ongoing.