Provisional clearance for Just Eat / Hungryhouse merger

Postado Outubro 12, 2017

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced in May that it was to examine whether restaurants faced the prospect of getting a worse deal under the proposed £200m tie-up - distorting competition in the process.

Just Eat has been given provisional approval by United Kingdom competition authorities to complete its acquisition of rival online food ordering website Hungryhouse, deciding that its initial concerns were unfounded.

Both Just Eat and Hungryhouse act as intermediaries, or delivery men, between customers and takeaway restaurants via online platforms, picking up ordered food and taking it to residential and commercial doorsteps.

In a statement issued today (12 October), the CMA said that a group of independent panel members investigating the merger "found that Hungryhouse presently provides limited competition to Just Eat because it is much smaller in size and offers too few unique restaurants, making it increasingly hard for Hungryhouse to attract and retain consumers". In comparison, Hungryhouse gives customers the choice from more unique brands.

In reaching its provisional conclusions, the group also took account of consumers' ability to order directly from takeaway restaurants, either by telephone, through their websites or by walking in. Just Eat shares are now up 4.91 percent on the news at 737.50 (1007GMT).

Just Eat agreed to pay £200 million to Delivery Hero for Hungryhouse and will shell out another £40 million, depending on performance.

Conversely, it found that Just Eat was facing a greater competitive challenge from innovative, fast-growing and well-funded platforms such as Deliveroo, Ubereats and Amazon Restaurants that, unlike Just Eat and Hungryhouse, take the orders and deliver the food.

Just Eat said it welcomed the announcement and said in a statement it looked forward to "continuing to deploy our technology and expertise to help more independent restaurants develop and grow their businesses".

The CMA is now asking for views on these provisional findings and will assess all the evidence before making a final decision.