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Some of the world’s leading oil field service companies are accused of anticompetitive behavior in which the firms allegedly colluded to manipulate the hydraulic fracturing services market. The companies face a class action lawsuit under the Sherman Antitrust Act.

“The class action complaint alleges that major oilfield services companies conspired to manipulate the market for pressure pumping services, in order to muscle out smaller, independent providers,” according to a statement from Burleson LLP, a law firm that specializes in energy matters.

“The suit generally asserts that the Defendants communicated and agreed upon a reduction in output and an increase in prices.  As a result of the allegedly anticompetitive activity, the market share of major hydraulic fracturing companies increased – along with their profits – at the expense of their customers and to the exclusion of smaller, independent competitors,” according to Burleson’s statement.

This case appears to be related to the fact that the US Department of Justice last week opened an antitrust investigation into Halliburton and Baker Hughes’ hydraulic fracturing services market activity.

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