The European Commission (EC) has given the green light to FedEx’s €4.4bn (£3.2bn) bid for TNT Express announced in April last year.

In a joint statement issued this morning (8 January) by the two parcel giants, the EC confirmed it had given its unconditional approval to the deal.

This follows an investigation launched by the EC in August last year to explore concerns “that on a number of European markets for international express and regular small packaged deliveries, the merged entity would face insufficient competitive constraints” if the takeover went ahead.

“This could lead to higher prices for business customers and consumers,” the EC added.

However, the EC has now concluded that the deal does not raise any competition concerns and given its go-ahead to the takeover.

“We are extremely pleased to receive the European Commission’s unconditional approval,” said David Binks, regional president Europe, FedEx Express. “We believe the combination of TNT Express and FedEx will provide significant value to the employees, customers and shareholders of both companies.”

Combining both companies would create a business with a global turnover of €49.7bn based on 2014 revenues. By comparison, rival Deutsche Post DHL Group had an annual turnover of €56.6bn in 2014.

FedEx and TNT Express added that they would now continue to work constructively with the regulatory authorities to obtain clearance of the transaction in remaining countries, including Brazil and China.

It is anticipated that the offer will close in the first half of 2016.