Could UPS appeal FedEx / TNT?

After approval by competition regulators in the US and EU, the FedEx / TNT merger looked set for completion by the end of this coming summer. It was approved by Brazil’s competitions regulator, the Council for Economic Defence (CADE) but there are now rumours that their main rivals, United Parcel Service (UPS) may appeal this decision. If so sparks could fly and depending on the strength of the legal case, the deal could take far longer to complete, if at all.

The appeal was reported in the Brazilian M&A news service, and if this is to take place, the local laws require that the company makes its appeal within 15 days. UPS has recently just elected its Chief Executive to be Chairman of the Board, and this is seen as a signal that it may go on the offensive.

FedEx and TNT have indicated that they will seek approval in a number of territories beyond the US and EU, including Brazil and China, despite the real impact of the merger only really taking place in the EU. Where UPS is currently ranked 3rd among international delivery companies in that region, it has strengths that the new kid on the block doesn’t. UPS offers residential and last mile deliveries in the European Union, something that FedEx / TNT do not currently. As such it has strength in depth, and is able to compete for the fast growing e-commerce delivery market where the two other companies only work at a B2B / logistics level.

FedEx CEO David Bronczek said of the merger, “Once the acquisition is closed, we look forward to the opportunities it will bring to our employees, customers and shareholders in Latin America and across the globe.” The game won’t be over until UPS makes their intentions known in the next week.

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