United Parcel Service has delayed closing on its planned acquisition of Dutch rival TNT Express because European Union regulators have extended their probe of the $6.8 billion deal.
The U.S. package delivery company now expects the deal will close in early 2013 instead of the originally targeted fourth quarter of 2012.
The two companies have agreed to a request by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, to extend the investigation period to allow it to review additional information.
UPS said it will seek another extension of the offer period, ending Nov. 9, if the antitrust conditions for the deal aren’t met by that date.
The EU launched an in-depth probe of the transaction, the biggest in UPS’s 105-year history in July, citing concerns it would reduce competition in international express deliveries in several European markets.
Under EU law, UPS cannot own TNT Express’s airline operations as a U.S. company.
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