Amazon-Deliveroo merger could harm convenience store deliveries

14 Décembre, 2019, 01:04 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Amazon's purchase of a minority shareholding in Deliveroo raises 'serious competition concerns' for UK consumers

Deliveroo is a UK-based online food delivery company that was founded back in 2013.

"Deliveroo is a British company operating right across the country and this investment will be particularly beneficial to the United Kingdom economy".

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has the power to block deals if it believes consumers will have less choice, says the tie-up raises "serious concerns".

The CMA said that wile there are some differences in the services that Amazon and Deliveroo offer to customers, the CMA found that competition between them could increase in future as the market develops.

It warned that the deal could damage competition in online restaurant food delivery by discouraging Amazon from re-entering the food delivery market in the United Kingdom - and that it could also could also hit competition in the emerging market for online convenience grocery delivery.

The deal sent shockwaves through the food delivery sector as investors anticipated the USA technology giant would use its financial muscle to take business from rivals such as UberEats and Just Eat.

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Deliveroo has been working with the Competition and Markets Authority to convince regulators Amazon's investment will inject competition into the sector and create more business for restaurants and work opportunities, but the authority said Wednesday the deal could discourage Amazon from restarting its own delivery service and damage competition with UberEats and Just Eat PLC, the other two players in the sector.

Amazon led a $ 575 million fundraiser at Deliveroo in May, doing what the two sides called "a minority investment" and facing Uber Eats, Just Eat and Takeaway.com in the global race to dominate the delivery market of takeaway food. "This is because the significant competition which could otherwise exist between Amazon and Deliveroo would be reduced". Additionally, the CMA is also concerned that the deal could damage competition in emerging markets for online convenience grocery delivery.

Regulators likely are looking for assurances from Amazon that it won't try to buy Deliveroo outright for five years.

Responding to the CMA, Deliveroo and Amazon both defended the deal. "Currently, there are only a small number of companies that act as the middle-man between restaurants and customers, and Amazon offered this service in competition with Deliveroo until 2018, when it exited the market", the CMA notes.

The competition watchdog also raised concerns that a tie-up between Amazon and Deliveroo would dampen competition in the ultra-fast grocery delivery market in the United Kingdom, in which there were now only a small number of suppliers.

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