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No EU antitrust objections to $5 billion FedEx, TNT merger

Staff writer |
EU antitrust regulators have no objections to FedEx's 4.4 billion euro ($5 billion) acquisition of TNT Express, the companies said.

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With a European market share of 17 percent, the combined company would be Europe's second-biggest delivery services business, behind Deutsche Post's DHL but ahead of UPS. The deal would also strengthen FedEx's position as the world's No3 player.

"FedEx and TNT have been informed by the European Commission that no statement of objections will be issued," the companies said in a joint statement. "FedEx and TNT continue to expect that the offer will close in the first half of 2016."

Prospects for a reduction in the number of European players from four to three had triggered a full-scale investigation by the European Commission on July 31, because of concern that the deal could reduce competition and result in higher prices.

The EU antitrust enforcer subsequently made a price analysis to help it decide whether to send a so-called statement of objections or charge sheet listing problematic issues to FedEx.

Such moves usually ratchet up the pressure on companies to offer concessions unless they can convince regulators otherwise. A decision not to send a charge sheet usually means regulators do not see serious competition issues.

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