The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally cleared Amazon’s 16 percent investment in Deliveroo on the basis that the deal would not likely “damage competition in either restaurant delivery or online convenience grocery delivery,” according to a statement from the CMA.
Amazon was set to be the largest contributor to a $575 million investment announced in May 2019. By July of the same year, British regulators were scrutinizing the deal, claiming there were “reasonable grounds” to suspect that Amazon and Deliveroo would “cease to be distinct” were it to go through. Many months and a pandemic later, the CMA provisionally approved the deal in April 2020. Grounds for approval were that, thanks to the pandemic decimating the restaurant industry, Deliveroo would have had to exit the food delivery market without Amazon’s investment.
Though it seems the stakes are actually less dire for Deliveroo. The CMA said today that it has revised its provisional findings from April and found that “Deliveroo would no longer be likely to exit the market in the absence of this transaction.”
Even so, a lot has changed in the third-party since Amazon first announced its plans to invest in Deliveroo. The biggest development (besides COVID-19) has been Takeaway.com’s acquisition of Just Eat that was approved in April and created one of the largest food delivery companies in the world. That deal alone makes the U.K. food delivery market more competitive, and renders Amazon (a little) less of a behemoth come to gobble up marketshare. Uber Eats also operates in the U.K., as do a handful of smaller players.
Another concern of the CMA’s was that through its investment, Amazon would cease to be competitive with Deliveroo. Thanks in large part to the Just Eat-Takeaway.com deal, that appears to no longer be the case.
“Looking closely at the size of the shareholding and how it will affect Amazon’s incentives, as well as the competition that the businesses will continue to face in food delivery and convenience groceries, we’ve found that the investment should not have a negative impact on customers,” Stuart McIntosh, Inquiry Chair for the CMA, said in a statement.
The CMA will now ask for views on the new findings by July 10. From there, it will make its final decision, which is due by August 6, 2020.