Irony: DOJ Scuttled Halliburton/BH Merger, then Collects $11M Fine

ValueActThe news is now months old that Halliburton and Baker Hughes ended their attempt to merge. The reason they called it off was because of opposition from the Obama Department of Justice (see Obama DOJ Kills Halliburton/Baker Hughes Merger, Deal “Terminated”). The companies didn’t have the stomach to go up against the bullies at DOJ. So it was the DOJ that actually killed the deal. During the process of DOJ’s review, an “activist investor” (i.e. corporate raider) by the name of ValueAct Capital snapped up $2.6 billion worth of Halliburton and Baker Hughes stock with, according to the DOJ, the intent to influence the companies’ business decisions as the merger unfolded.” The DOJ charged ValueAct “with violating the reporting and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act” (see DOJ Sues ValueAct Capital for Meddling in Halliburton/BH Merger). ValueAct has settled by paying $11 million in shakedown money to the DOJ to make it all go away. Which we find ironic. The DOJ killed the deal, and yet the DOJ is extracting money for the deal they killed…

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