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UPS appeals European decision against TNT deal

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NEW YORK (AP) — United Parcel Service Inc. is appealing a European regulator's ruling that blocked UPS' attempted purchase of Dutch delivery company TNT Express.

UPS believes the ruling was based on "legal and factual errors," and it doesn't want antitrust regulators to use the decision as a precedent for any future acquisitions, company spokeswoman Peggy Gardner said Monday.

UPS withdrew its $6.7 billion offer for TNT in January. Gardner said the decision to appeal the European Commission's ruling shouldn't be seen as a precursor to a new bid.

"This is not any sort of signal about TNT," Gardner said. Asked if UPS had ruled out a new offer for TNT, she replied, "We don't ever speculate on future acquisitions."

In blocking the UPS bid for TNT, regulators said it would have resulted in insufficient competition and higher prices for delivering small packages. The European Union's antitrust chief, Joaquin Almunia, had said that regulators were still discussing potential concessions from UPS to salvage a deal when UPS dropped its bid.

The takeover of TNT would have been the largest ever for Atlanta-based UPS.

Shares of UPS fell 52 cents to $83.02 in midday trading Monday. Shares of TNT, which fell by nearly half the day that UPS pulled its offer, fell 1 euro cent to 5.75 euros ($7.48) on the Amsterdam stock market.

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