FedEx and TNT are one step closer to their merger after a joint statement from the companies said they did not expect to receive a statement of objections from the European Commission, which might have slowed or even vetoed the deal.

The EC launched an "in-depth" investigation into the merger, which was announced in April, after it voiced “concerns that the merged entity would face insufficient competitive constraints” if it went ahead.

However in yesterday’s statement the companies said while the cut off date for any such statement wouldn’t be until 23 October, they had been informed that no statement of objections will be issued.

They added that they continue to expect the deal to complete in the first half of 2016.

Based on the firms’ 2014 results, the new combined  business would have a  global turnover of €49.7bn, compared to rival Deutsche Post DHL Group’s annual turnover of €56.6bn for the same year.