CMA provisionally clears Just Eat's acquisition of Hungryhouse

12/10/2017 - 10:17
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given provisional clearance for Just Eat to acquire fellow online food delivery service and market rival, Hungryhouse.

The competition watchdog concluded 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 difficult for Hungryhouse to attract and retain consumers.

Furthermore, it found that the industry is evolving rapidly following the entry of platforms, such as Deliveroo, UberEATS and Amazon, which also manage or facilitate delivery services on behalf of restaurants.

It said that these companies generally presented a greater competitive challenge to Just Eat than Hungryhouse, and that this is likely to grow as they expand.

Martin Cave, inquiry Chair, said: "We carefully assessed competition in this rapidly evolving industry to make sure this merger would not result in increased prices or reduced quality of offering for either restaurants or their customers.

"We obtained evidence from all the major industry participants and carried out surveys, with the public and restaurants, to understand how the merger could impact both types of customers.

"We found that Hungryhouse was a weak competitor to Just Eat and so competition is unlikely to be substantially reduced by this merger, especially given the entry and rapid expansion of innovative suppliers in this sector."

Just Eat paid £200m for Hungryhouse, which it bought from its Germany-based owners, Delivery Hero, in 2016 December.

Headquartered in London, Just Eat has 19 million users and currently partners with 75,400 restaurants.

"We are pleased that the CMA has provisionally concluded that this transaction does not lessen competition," said a Just Eat spokesperson 

"We look forward to continuing to deploy our technology and expertise to help more independent restaurants develop and grow their businesses, while offering an even better service to consumers."

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