BRUSSELS Oct 16 United Parcel Service Inc
said on Tuesday it was committed to its 5.2 billion euro
($6.7 billion) bid for Dutch rival TNT Express and
urged EU antitrust regulators to be "reasonable" in assessing
The European Commission is worried the proposed merger will
reduce the number of players from four to three, leaving the
combined UPS/TNT group to compete only with Deutsche Post's
DHL and FedEx.
The Commission, which regulates antitrust matters in the
27-member European Union, is preparing to detail its objections
to the takeover, which will reinforce UPS as the world No. 1
package delivery company.
According to analysts at Bernstein Research, a merged UPS
and TNT would have 25 percent of the European express services
market, ahead of DHL with 19 percent.
UPS argues that it faces a number of competitors, ranging
from French mail company DPD, owned by La Poste, and
Royal Mail's European express parcel service GLS, to
freight forwarders like Swiss companies Kuehne & Nagel
"We are committed to working this deal through," said Daniel
Brutto, head of UPS International.
"We don't see any reason why the deal won't go through if
both are reasonable," he told reporters on a visit to Brussels
to meet officials from the EU watchdog.
The growth in e-commerce means consumers are increasingly
using package delivery companies, a factor the Commission should
take into account, Brutto said.
The Commission is expected to send a statement of objections
or charge sheet to UPS within a week of Tuesday's meeting. The
company may have to offer concessions, including asset sales, to
soothe regulatory concerns.
The Commission is scheduled to decide on the proposed merger
by Jan. 15 next year.