The European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into the proposed acquisition of TNT Express by UPS.
It has set a deadline of 28th November to take a decision on whether the proposed transaction would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area.
The decision is based on a preliminary investigation which indicated potential competition concerns in the markets for small parcel delivery services, in particular international express services, in numerous member states, where the parties would have very high combined market shares.
Commission vice president in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: “The small package delivery sector is of strategic importance for various other industries in Europe. The proposed acquisition could in particular reduce competition for the provision of the fastest express delivery services, to the detriment of direct customers and ultimately of European consumers. The Commission needs to make sure that customers continue to have access to these services at competitive conditions.”
Last week UPS anticipated the move by the commission, saying that it would extend the offer period for the proposal.