Just Eat plc (Just Eat) and Hungryhouse Holdings Limited (Hungryhouse) are web-based food ordering platforms in the UK. They give restaurants the opportunity to reach a wider pool of people, as well as offer consumers the convenience of choosing from a large range of takeaway providers in one place.
In the summary of provisional findings, published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today, a group of independent panel members investigating the merger has found that, on balance, it is unlikely to result in competition concerns.
The group found 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. These companies generally present a greater competitive challenge to Just Eat than Hungryhouse, and this is likely to grow as they expand.
In reaching its provisional conclusions, the group also took account of consumers’ ability to order directly from takeaway restaurants, either by telephone, through their websites or by walking in.
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.
The CMA is now asking for views on these provisional findings and will assess all the evidence before making a final decision.
All information relating to this merger inquiry can be found on the case page.
Anyone wishing to respond to the provisional findings should do so in writing, by no later than 12pm on 2 November 2017.
Please email JustEat.HungryHouse@cma.gsi.gov.uk or write to:
Just Eat/Hungryhouse merger inquiry
Competition and Markets Authority
Notes for editors
- The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.
- The CMA began its initial investigation into the merger in March 2017. The CMA referred the case for in-depth investigation on 19 May 2017 and published its provisional findings on 12 October 2017.
- Certain of the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by independent inquiry groups chosen from the CMA’s panel members. The appointed inquiry group are the decision-makers on phase 2 inquiries.
- The members of the inquiry group are: Professor Martin Cave (Inquiry Chair), Katherine Holmes, John Krumins and Jayne Scott.
- The CMA’s panel members come from a variety of backgrounds, including economics, law, accountancy and/or business; the membership of an inquiry group usually reflects a mix of expertise and experience.
- For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn and like our Facebook page. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on merger cases.
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