Extended investigation into FedEx-TNT deal not expected to affect projected timeline

Update: The European Union’s decision to extend its investigation into FedEx’s $4.8bn bid to takeover TNT Express is not expected to change the timeline for completion.
Today, Brussels confirmed it will now complete its competition investigation into the deal by January 13, instead of December 8 as initially expected.
A TNT spokesperson told Air Cargo News that the two companies had agreed to the extension.
“They [Competition Commission] indicated that they are doing such an extensive review that they want to be sure that they are not running out of time. We were of course happy to agree to that,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that even though the Commission had requested extra time, it does not necessarily need to use the full period to come to a conclusion.
Also, he said, TNT still expects the transaction to close in the first half of 2016 despite the extension.
FedEx said:“The extension has been granted by the parties in accordance with the procedure set out in the EU Merger Control Regulation.
"We continue to work constructively with the Commission to obtain clearance of the transaction."
In July, the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the deal because of concerns it could reduce competition and push up prices.
The Commission said it had concerns that on 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 players, UPS and DHL.
This could lead to higher prices for business customers and consumers, it said.
Both TNT and FedEx said the probe was a normal part of the Commission’s investigation process.
A further announcement on the deal is expected next week.

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