The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Just Eat’s acquisition of Hungryhouse, following an in-depth investigation.
The merger of the two web-based food ordering platforms did not raise competition concerns, it said.
The food ordering and delivery industry was evolving rapidly following the entry of platforms such as Deliveroo, UberEATS and Amazon, which also facilitate delivery services on behalf of restaurants and food to go outlets, including convenience stores, the CMA said. These companies generally presented a greater competitive challenge to Just Eat than Hungryhouse, and this was likely to grow as they expanded, it added.
Jonathan Buxton, partner and head of consumer and retail at Cavendish Corporate Finance, said the acquisition demonstrated the “seismic shift currently taking place in Britain’s food industry, which is seeing traditional restaurants facing increasing pressure to compete successfully with online delivery services”.
“The boom in demand for online food delivery is forcing the hand of restaurants to partner with third-party delivery services to win new customers and remain relevant while increasing the need for these businesses to provide faster and more nimble services,” he said
“We expect to see increased consolidation in this sector as competition increases and these businesses look to expand their geographical reach and offering,” he added.