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Halliburton Lawsuit Shows Antitrust Cops Pounding Mega-Deals

  • U.S. steps up challenges amid tests posed by rush of tie-ups
  • Merger concerns fueled by research that past fixes failed
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The corporate deal-making boom last year was one for the record books. The harder part: Winning the blessing of emboldened antitrust officials in the Obama administration’s last year.

U.S. enforcers have turned increasingly aggressive in their mission to protect competition between companies -- the latest example being the Justice Department’s lawsuit Wednesday to block Halliburton Co.’s takeover of rival oil-services company Baker Hughes Inc. Antitrust officials are also in court this week to block a merger between Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc.