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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department says two companies crucial to the business of U.S. energy exploration have abandoned their planned $34 billion merger.

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The department filed suit April 6 to block the merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes. The agency claims the transaction would unlawfully eliminate significant competition in almost two dozen markets crucial to the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the United States.

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Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch called the companies’ decision to abandon the transaction “a victory for the U.S. economy and for all Americans.”

Justice officials said the merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes would have raised prices, decreased output and lessened innovation in at least 23 oilfield products and services critical to the nation’s energy supply.

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