The European Commission has cleared unconditionally the acquisition of Baker Hughes Inc. by General Electric Co. (GE) after concluding the estimated $32 billion transaction would not adversely affect competition in relevant markets. In the blockbuster deal, GE is to become majority shareholder in the partnership, creating the second largest oilfield operator in the world after Schlumberger Ltd. Pending regulatory approval, the merger is set to close this year. Each company provides oilfield services in the European Economic Area and worldwide, and in several specific markets they sell competing products, including for onshore/offshore electrical submersible pumps and chemicals used in the refining and petrochemicals industry. Also investigated by European authorities were markets were GE supplies Baker Hughes and competitors, including for sensors used in drilling/wireline applications.
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