Global merger control clearance has been obtained for a joint venture between Baker Hughes and Akastor ASA (formerly Aker Solutions). The JV will combine their respective subsea drilling services businesses.
Competition authorities found the combined market shares of the three largest firms, including the merging parties, was over 70% with high barriers to entry. Despite this, the parties were found not to be close competitors. Large customers were found to likely have some buyer power and current overcapacity in the market globally would enable competitors to provide an important competitive constraint going forward. Possible foreclosure was also ruled out.