The U.K,’s Competition Markets and Authority (CMA) has approved Takeaway.com’s £6.2 billion ($7.6 billion USD) takeover of British food delivery service Just Eat. The merged company also announced it had raised €700 million ($756 million) in new outside funding in the form of new shares and convertible bonds.
The deal was originally announced in July of 2019. A bidding war with tech investment firm Prosus followed shortly thereafter, which Takeaway.com won — only to have the CMA open an investigation into the deal to see if it would “result in a substantial lessening of competition” in the U.K. food delivery market.
Takeaway.com previously operated in the U.K., but exited that market in 2016. The CMA’s investigation concerned whether the Dutch company would have re-entered the U.K. market of its own accord without the Just Eat deal.
“In this case, we carefully considered whether Takeaway.com could have re-entered the U.K. market in future, giving people more choice,” the CMA’s mergers director Colin Raftery said in a statement. “It was important we investigated this properly, but after gathering additional evidence which indicates this deal will not reduce competition, it is also the right decision to now clear the merger.”
The approval comes just days after the CMA provisionally approved Amazon’s investment in delivery service Deliveroo, which has been under investigation for similar reasons. In the case of this deal, the approval seems more tied to the COVID-19 pandemic than anything else, with the CMA concluding that the virus is having significant enough impact on Deliveroo’s business to endanger the third-party delivery company.
Coronavirus doesn’t appear to be the driving force behind the Just Eat-Takeaway.com deal, which was never as dangerously on the rocks as Amazon’s anyway. According to CNBC, the new funding will be used to in part pay down debts as well as pursue “strategic opportunities.”