United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS ) announced today that it has officially withdrawn its $7 billion acquisition offer for Netherlands-based TNT Express after nearly a year of European Commission regulatory oversight ended this week with the European Commission's official ruling blocking the merger as it would have restricted competition.
Today's announcement comes just two weeks after UPS announced that the European Commission had notified it that it planned to reject the proposal. UPS first applied for approval in March 2012, and had subsequently submitted alternate proposals and revisions to address the Commission's concerns.
In its statement today, the company reiterated that UPS believes the combined company would have been "transformative for the logistics industry, bringing meaningful benefits to consumers and customers around the world, while supporting much needed growth in Europe in particular."
European Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia said in a statement today that existing businesses "would have been directly harmed by the takeover of TNT by UPS because it would have drastically reduced choice between providers and probably led to price increases. We worked hard with UPS on possible remedies until very late in the procedure, but what they offered was simply not enough to address the serious competition problems we identified."
Now, UPS will pay TNT a $267 million fee to terminate the merger proposal. The deal was valued at $7 billion.