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May 2, 2017 4:00 PM, EDT

Federal Regulators Give Green Light to Knight-Swift Merger

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The multibillion-dollar merger between Knight Transportation Inc. and Swift Transportation received a speedy federal antitrust approval May 1, clearing the way for shareholders to vote on the proposed transaction to form the largest truckload carrier in the United States.

 

The transaction received early termination from the federal government, according to a notice posted on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

 

The FTC and the Justice Department can take up to 30 days to review a transaction for any potential antitrust violations, but the notice means the deal has been cleared already because federal regulators don’t have any significant concerns.

RELATED: Video analysis - what drove the Knight-Swift merger 

While the deal would form a longhaul truckload carrier worth about $6 billion, the trucking companies successfully argued that it would represent only a small portion of a highly fragmented industry with hundreds of thousands of motor carriers.

 

If approved by shareholders, the combined company would be called Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. and would have an annual revenue between $5 billion and $5.5 billion and a market capitalization of about $6 billion.

 

The deal would bring Knight-Swift closer in overall size to J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., which generates about $6 billion in revenue and has a market cap between $9 billion and $10 billion.