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UPS, TNT Express Merger Review May Be Delayed by EU Regulator

European Union regulators suspended their review of United Parcel Service Inc.’s bid for TNT Express NV to seek more information from the parties on the deal.

The European Commission in Brussels suspended its deadline for analyzing the transaction, it said on its website. The decision comes less than a month after the EU regulator had extended the initial deadline to Dec. 12.

“It doesn’t mean we make any judgments on the merits of the case,” Ryan Heath, a spokesman for the EU, said by telephone today. “Once the commission has all the necessary information, it will reset the clock.”

UPS, the world’s biggest package-delivery company, is seeking to expand in Europe with the biggest deal in its 105-year history. It will vault to equal footing there with Deutsche Post AG’s DHL, the market-share leader. The tie-up with unprofitable TNT will immediately add to earnings on an adjusted basis once the deal is done, the company said in March.

The EU regulator previously said there are potential competition concerns for small parcel delivery services, in particular international express services, in several European countries where the companies would have very high combined market shares.

TNT Express still expects the deal to be completed in the fourth quarter, Erik van Venetie, a spokesman for the company in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, said by telephone.

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