The European Commission has officially objected to the EUR5.2 billion merger between UPS and TNT Express. A Statement of Objection (SO), was received by the US and Dutch logistics groups late last week. Both companies said they had been expecting such a move by the EC, following a statement in the the summer by Joaquín Almunia, the EC Competition Commissioner that the merger would be subjected to an extra stage of review, over concerns that the tie-up would unbalance competition in the international express small package market in Europe. Management at TNT Express accepted UPS’s offer of EUR9.50 per share in March, but its shares have since fallen to below EUR8 on fears the deal will not go through. The EC has given no indication of what it might demand to allow the merger to go ahead. If there are demands that either company divest some assets to increase competition, analysts say the only likely buyer would be FedEx.