European antitrust regulators said today they unconditionally approved FedEx Corp.'s US$4.8 billion acquisition of Dutch delivery company TNT Express, ruling the deal does not raise any competitive concerns.
The decision by the European Commission (EC), the European Union's antitrust arm, puts a formal stamp on an action taken last October, when it notified both companies that it would not raise objections to the proposed merger before a deadline to do so. The EC's approval was seen as the deal's main stumbling block, especially after the Commission's concerns over possible anticompetitive behavior compelled FedEx rival UPS Inc. to abandon a US$6.8 billion buyout offer for TNT Express in early 2013.
Memphis-based FedEx and TNT Express said in a joint statement that they continue to work with regulatory authorities to obtain clearance of the transaction in Brazil and China, areas where both firms have operations. The companies said they expect the transaction to close during the first half of the year.