The European Commission has decided not to try to block the €4.4 billion takeover of TNT by FedEx that was agreed in April.
In a statement, the two companies said: “The internal deadline of the European Commission for issuing a Statement of Objections would have expired on 23 October 2015, but FedEx and TNT have been informed by the European Commission that no Statement of Objections will be issued.”
As a result, the two companies expect that the offer will close in the first half of 2016.
Objections from the commission were the most likely stumbling block to the deal. The 2012 bid for TNT by UPS failed after being blocked by the European Commission.
Globally, FedEx had sales of some $45.6bn (£31.2bn) in 2014 while TNT Express has sales of €6.5bn (£4.7bn) giving a combined total of £35.9bn. The merged business would have sales of some £1 billion in the UK.
The European Commission launched an in-depth investigation into the FedEx-TNT deal in July. It said it was concerned that in a number of European markets for international express and regular small package deliveries, the merged entity would face insufficient competitive constraints from the only two remaining large integrators – UPS and DHL.
FedEx and TNT argued that the combination’s customers would enjoy access to an enhanced, integrated global network. This network would benefit from the combined strength of TNT’s European road platform and Liege hub and FedEx’s strength in other regions globally, including North America and Asia.
In addition, TNT customers would benefit from the combination’s comprehensive range of services, and FedEx would strengthen TNT with investment capacity, sector expertise and global scope.