Baker Hughes Falls Most in Three Months on Antitrust Uncertainty

Baker Hughes Inc. fell the most in more than three months as the deadline from U.S. antitrust regulators to weigh in on the $26 billion deal with Halliburton Co. approaches this week.

Baker Hughes dropped 7.5 percent to $44.23 at 12:20 p.m. in New York after earlier sliding as much as 10 percent, the biggest intraday tumble since Aug. 24.

Halliburton has presented a package of proposed asset sales to antitrust officials in hopes of allaying their concerns that the tie-up between the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the oil-services industry would be anticompetitive. The U.S. Justice Department was expected to decide by Dec. 15, while other regulatory bodies around the world have set later dates.

"People are just guessing at this point," Luke Lemoine, an analyst at Capital One Southcoast in New Orleans, who rates the shares the equivalent of a buy and owns none. While investors are not expecting the deal to close this early, they are wondering how or if the Justice Department review will be extended, he said.

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