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As Schlumberger buys Smith, the price of oil services is set to rise

Financial Times

February 22, 2010 7:56pm

by Ed Crooks

Schlumberger’s $12bn deal to buy fellow oil services company Smith International, announced on Sunday night and discussed by Andrew Gould, Schlumberger’s CEO, on Monday, looks like a turning point. From now on, the cost of oil services seems more likely to rise than fall. One possible reason for that is that the deal will restrict competition. Anti-trust authorities will undoubtedly take an interest, especially in the US, where the two companies paid a $14.6m fine a decade ago for anti-trust violations. The deal will further extend Schlumberger’s dominance of the global oil services business, creating a group with more employees than ExxonMobil, BP or Royal Dutch Shell.

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