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Grubhub and Just Eat are in ‘advanced’ merger talks in what could be a new headache for restaurants

Just Eat has offered to pay “a small premium” over the share price that Grubhub was trading at earlier today, per CNBC.

Grubhub and Just Eat are in ‘advanced’ merger talks in what could be a new headache for restaurants
[Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash]

Democratic lawmakers may have spooked Uber out of devouring Grubhub, but Senator Amy Klobuchar’s calls for regulation in the takeout-delivery business apparently did not cross the Atlantic.

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Grubhub and Dutch delivery giant Just Eat Takeaway could announce a merger as soon as today, CNBC reports. Just Eat wrote on its website that it’s currently in “advanced discussions with Grubhub regarding an all-share combination.”

The Netherlands-based firm was founded in 2000. It runs a food-delivery service in 10 European countries as well as Israel. Grubhub’s origins technically stretch back even further, if you count the late-1999 launch of Seamless, one of the many competitors that Grubhub has gobbled up or merged with over the years.

Citing anonymous sources, CNBC reports that Just Eat has offered to pay “a small premium” over the share price that Grubhub was trading at earlier today, $58. This afternoon Grubhub’s stock price slipped below $57 per share, down by nearly 2% for the day, while Uber’s stock price fell by about 3.5%.

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We reached out to Grubhub for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

Food delivery providers such as Uber Eats and Grubhub have faced new scrutiny from lawmakers during the pandemic over the rising fees they levy on both restaurants and customers. The lockdowns, meanwhile, have thrown restaurants into the dicey situation of relying more than ever on those delivery apps to reach shoppers. A Grubhub-Just Eat deal would further narrow the global food delivery business.

Klobuchar and a handful of her Democratic colleagues warned in May that large mergers such as this one could limit competition and deprive customers of “a future in which online food delivery is more efficient, more innovative, and less expensive.”

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The senator released a statement earlier today in which she said Uber backing out of the deal is “good for both consumers and restaurants.” Strangely, the statement makes no mention of Just Eat stepping in.

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