GE and Baker Hughes announced the deal in October, months after Halliburton's effort to buy Baker Hughes collapsed under pressure from the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. Under the agreement, GE will combine Baker Hughes with its oil and gas business to create a publicly traded company.
Following news of the antitrust approval, shares of Baker Hughes added slightly to gains and were up 1.1 percent to $56.14.
The deal was approved on condition that GE sell its Water & Process Technologies business, the department said. The asset sale was required because GE and Baker Hughes are two of four companies that sell refineries the specialized chemicals they need to remove impurities from hydrocarbons, the department said in a court filing.
Baker Hughes has some 35 percent of the market for refinery process chemicals, while GE has about 20 percent, the department said in a court filing.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Peter Cooney)