UPS seeks damages from European Commission for blocked TNT deal

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UPS is seeking €1.7 billion of compensation from the European Commission for blocking its takeover bid of TNT in 2013.

The European Commission blocked the deal in January 2013 saying it would restrict competition in 15 member states, stating that in many countries the only alternative would be DHL.

Since then, FedEx has taken over TNT, a decision the European Commission did not oppose.

UPS has appealed the decision of the European General Court, which ruled in UPS’s favour in 2017, overturning the European Commission’s 2013 decision saying that it had not given UPS the required opportunity to defend itself because the EC changed its economic analysis without telling UPS.

The EC is appealing that ruling to the European Court of Justice, and a decision is expected from the court in the third quarter of 2018.

In compensation, UPS is seeking €1.7 billion for damages and applicable interest; compensation for the taxes that will be imposed for the damages imposed; and for the EC to pay costs for the proceedings.

UPS says: “We can confirm that UPS is following the legal process in seeking compensation for the losses suffered as a result of the acquisition being unfairly prohibited by the European Commission. We feel strongly that the proposed acquisition would have constituted a good deal for logistics customers as well as B2C consumers. UPS continues to remain bullish on Europe.

“Today, our European business makes up ½ of our international volume and revenue. UPS began operating in Europe 40 years ago and have never left since those early days in Germany. We remain focused on executing a disciplined business strategy, continuing progress on our European investment program and leveraging the significant growth opportunities we see in Europe and around the world.”

The company also states: “We respect the course of the legal process but are unable to discuss any specifics relating to the claim at this time which is in the hands of the courts. The compensation being sought corresponds to what we believe, through objective assessments verified by expert third parties, to be the value of the opportunity wrongly prohibited by the European Commission.”