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Exclusive: EU to give unconditional approval to Schlumberger deal - sources
January 25, 2016 / 11:05 AM / 2 years ago

Exclusive: EU to give unconditional approval to Schlumberger deal - sources

The exterior of the Schlumberger Corporation headquarters building is pictured in the Galleria area of Houston January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Richard Carson

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The world’s biggest oilfield services company Schlumberger (SLB.N) is set to gain unconditional EU approval for its $14.8 billion bid for equipment maker Cameron International Corp CAM.N, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The acquisition will enable Schlumberger to offer a broader range of products at lower prices to oil companies, which are slashing spending in response to falling oil prices, and boost its market share.

Antitrust experts have said the two U.S. companies offer complementary product lines, meaning the deal would draw less regulatory scrutiny.

Schlumberger’s relatively smooth passage with regulators contrasts with a larger proposed energy services tie-up, Halliburton’s (HAL.N) proposed $35 billion takeover of Baker Hughes BHI.N, which has stirred worries with watchdogs on both sides of the Atlantic.

It is now the target of a full-scale investigation by the European Commission because of concerns it could push up prices for oil and gas exploration in Europe.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment. Schlumberger spokesman Joao Felix said the company typically does not discuss merger and acquisition opportunities.

Cameron International did not immediately reply to an email for comment. The EU competition enforcer is scheduled to decide on the deal by Feb. 5.

U.S. antitrust regulators cleared the deal without conditions in November last year. The companies expect to close the merger in the first quarter.

Schlumberger last week said it would cut 10,000 jobs in the fourth quarter amid a prolonged oil price slump.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Adrian Croft

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