LONDON Jan 8 Informal approaches by United
Parcel Service to FedEx to sell a package of TNT
Express assets have been rebuffed by its U.S. rival,
making it potentially harder for UPS to win approval for its
takeover of the Dutch delivery group, the Financial Times
FedEx is refusing to engage in serious talks unless they
cover a bigger slice of the TNT business, the newspaper said on
The European Commission (EC), Europe's competition watchdog,
is worried that the 5.2 billion euros ($6.8 billion) takeover by
UPS, the world's no. 1 package delivery company, would leave
only two other big players, Deutsche Post AG's DHL
and U.S.-based FedEx.
In November, UPS and TNT said they planned to sell assets in
order to meet European anti-trust concerns. Analysts and
investors have said that FedEx wants the takeover to be blocked.
French mail group DPD is currently the sole contender to buy
the assets, which cover TNT subsidiaries in at least 16 European
Union countries including Spain, the FT cited several people
familiar involved with the clearance talks as saying.
Joaquin Almunia, the EU's competition chief, is however
cautious about a sale to DPD as it does not have an air network
and would rely on buying space in aircraft from its rival, which
has raised doubts about its future commitment to compete with
UPS, the FT said.
A TNT spokesman declined to comment on the FT report but
said UPS and TNT were fully committed to the deal and were
working closely with the EC. Fedex declined to comment while the
EC and UPS were not immediately available to comment.