Just Eat has hit out at the competition watchdog’s U-turn over etail titan Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo.
Just Eat, which itself was bought by Dutch online food delivery platform Takeaway.com earlier this year, said it was “concerned by the very sudden U-turn” by the Competition and Markets Authority.
The watchdog launched an investigation into the deal last December after suggesting it could reduce competition in the UK food delivery market – a sector in which Deliveroo competes primarily with Just Eat and Uber Eats.
But the CMA provisionally gave the deal the green light last month after warning that Deliveroo could have gone bust during the coronavirus crisis without the additional funding.
The CMA will publish its final verdict by June, but ahead of that ruling Just Eat argued that the pandemic would not cause such permanent damage to Deliveroo’s business.
Just Eat said demand for takeaway has increased during lockdown and suggested the CMA’s U-turn was based on “incorrect or misleading data”.
In a statement to the CMA, Just Eat said: “While Just Eat Takeaway does not question the very serious and perturbing nature of the Covid-19 crisis, it does not believe that this creates a ‘carte blanche’ to assume permanent, irreversible negative impact on businesses, particularly those who are in the business of delivering food to people at home in circumstances that align with social distancing rules.”
A Deliveroo spokeswoman said: “This investment is a key part of Deliveroo’s plan to provide an even better service to customers, riders and restaurants and, as we’re a British company, this will be a boost to the UK economy.
“The unprecedented health crisis we all face has disrupted businesses across the country. This investment will help us to overcome immediate and long-term challenges, allow us to continue to improve our service for customers, enable us to develop new innovations and offer people even greater choice.
“Everyone at Deliveroo is excited that Amazon, the most customer-obsessed and innovative company in the world, has chosen to invest in Deliveroo’s future.”