The acquisition would allow FedEx to acquire an extensive ground network in Europe, making it a bigger player in the burgeoning e-commerce market.
European Union regulators have unconditionally approved FedEx Corp.’s acquisition of Dutch parcel company TNT Express NV, ending a six-month antitrust investigation that had been one of the biggest hurdles toward the near-$5 billion deal.
The merger would allow FedEx to acquire an extensive ground network in Europe, making it a bigger player in the burgeoning e-commerce market.
The acquisition approval had been expected since FedEx said in October that European regulators wouldn’t challenge the transaction. That was seen as an unexpectedly easy pass from Europe’s antitrust cops, who had blocked a similar deal between rival United Parcel Services Inc. and TNT in 2013.
The European Commission, the bloc’s top antitrust authority, opened a full investigation into the deal in July, warning that the merged company may face insufficient competition on certain parcel delivery routes, which could lead to higher prices for businesses and consumers.
On Friday, the regulator announced it had concluded that the delivery companies weren’t particularly close competitors in Europe, and that the merged entity would “continue to face sufficient competition from its rivals”.
David Binks, FedEx’s regional president for Europe, declared: “We are extremely pleased to receive the European Commission’s unconditional approval”.