Luxury goods giant LVMH is ending its takeover deal of jewellery retailer Tiffany, saying the French government has requested a delay to assess the threat of proposed US tariffs and amid wider industry troubles caused by the pandemic.
The Paris-based conglomerate said that both the French government and Tiffany had requested that the closing of the deal be postponed by a few months.
The French government, it said, wanted to assess the impact of the possible US tariffs on French goods.
As a result, LVMH said, the $US14.5 billion ($A20.1 billion) deal that was scheduled to close on November 24 will be cancelled.
Tiffany replied that it's suing to enforce the merger agreement, which was signed in November 2019.
The New York company said LVMH's argument has no basis in French law.
Tiffany also said that LVMH hasn't even attempted to seek the required antitrust approval from three jurisdictions.
The deal's value came under strain during the coronavirus pandemic, which caused retail sales to plunge around the world.