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Regulator approves £6.2bn Just Eat and Takeaway.com merger amid coronavirus crisis

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·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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A Just eat rider in Via La Spezia. Photo: Simona Granati - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
A Just eat rider. (Simona Granati/Corbis via Getty Images)

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority has cleared a £6.2bn ($7.6bn) merger between two food delivery firms Just Eat (JET.L) and Takeaway.com (TKWY.AS).

Just Eat is one of the main food delivery firms in the UK market while Takeaway.com N.V operates in 11 countries overseas, including the Netherlands and Germany, but has not been active in the UK since exiting in 2016. Both group act as a digital hub for restaurants or food outlets, where people can browse takeaway options and order online. It is similar to the likes of Deliveroo.

In January this year, the CMA launched a probe into Takeaway.com’s acquisition of Just Eat. The watchdog said it had “considered information suggesting that Takeaway.com might have been well-placed to re-enter the UK market and compete with Just Eat, had the merger not gone ahead” due to the small number of firms that act as the middle-man between restaurants and customers.

Read more: UK regulator to probe £6bn Takeaway.com acquisition of Just Eat

“After interrogating how this deal is likely to affect the UK market, we are satisfied that there are no competition concerns,” said Colin Raftery, senior director of mergers at the CMA.

“Millions of people in the UK use online food platforms for takeaways and, where a merger could raise competition concerns, we have a duty to rigorously investigate whether customers could lose out. In this case, we carefully considered whether Takeaway.com could have re-entered the UK market in future, giving people more choice.

“It was important we investigated this properly, but after gathering additional evidence which indicates this deal will not reduce competition, it is also the right decision to now clear the merger.”

Read more: Coronavirus crisis prompts regulator to provisionally clear Amazon's investment in Deliveroo

This is the second deal the CMA has approved in a week. Last week it provisionally cleared Amazon’s (AMZN) investment in online restaurant food delivery group Deliveroo.

The CMA said in a statement on Friday (17 April) that the decision was made “in light of a deterioration in Deliveroo’s financial position as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).”

While the extent of Amazon’s stake has not been publicly disclosed, it was the lead investor in a $575m (£457m) funding round announced by Deliveroo in May last year.

On Thursday (23 April), the CMA added that during the COVID-19 outbreak, it had been working with businesses to see where it can be flexible.

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