UPS plans to buy TNT fall through

A plan by UPS to take over Dutch delivery company TNT fell through because of objections by the European Commission. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

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It was a promising plan while it lasted: United Parcel Service Inc. would send its brown-suited army scuttling throughout Europe after paying $6.8 billion to acquire Dutch delivery competitor TNT Express.

But then the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, busted the party, tipping off the two companies that it will prohibit the transaction on antitrust grounds.

This after UPS remedied its takeover proposal multiple times since announcing its intention to buy TNT in March.

“We are extremely disappointed with the EC’s position,” said UPS Chief Executive Scott Davis in a statement. “The combined company would have been transformative for the logistics industry, bringing meaningful benefits to consumers and customers around the world, while supporting growth in Europe in particular."

Once the EC decision is formalized in coming weeks, Atlanta-based UPS will withdraw its offer and pay TNT a breakup fee of 200 million euros, or $267.3 million.

Together, the two companies had expected to draw $60 billion in annual revenue, with about 36% generated outside the U.S., UPS had said. UPS currently serves 220 countries and territories.

The current shipping and delivery leader in Europe is Deutsche Post DHL.

“While we viewed the acquisition as a compelling growth platform, our financial strength allows UPS to capture future opportunities," Davis said.

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