Just weeks after it lost the chance to acquire Grubhub, Uber has made an offer to buy Postmates, according to the New York Times.
Three sources “familiar with the matter” and speaking anonymously told the NYT that Uber could potentially buy its third-party delivery rival Postmates for $2.6 billion and that the deal was in talks right now — though it could also fall apart.
It wouldn’t be the first time a deal fell through for Uber. Only weeks ago, the company looked to be buying Grubhub to bolster its Eats business. Those plans went awry after Dutch food delivery service Just Eat Takeaway.com swooped in and made its own deal with Grubhub for $7.3 billion.
Antitrust concerns were one of the main issues with an Uber-Grubhub deal. Had the two companies combined, the new entity would have created a delivery service with as much marketshare as DoorDash currently holds (45 percent of the U.S. market) and rendered the on-demand food delivery arena much less competitive.
A Postmates deal would raise fewer regulatory flags, since the Bay Area-based service, last valued at $2.4 billion, is a much smaller player than Grubhub.
Even so, consolidation is in full swing in the food delivery world. Besides Just Eat Takeaway.com’s deal with Grubhub, Delivery Hero recently bought South Korean service Woowa Bros. for $4 billion and Brazil-based iFood announced a merger with Colombian delivery heavyweight Domicillios.com.
Uber has said Eats will only operate in markets where it is the number one or number two player. In the U.S., that feat that would have been easy to accomplish with a Grubhub acquisition. Were a Postmates deal to go through, it’s less certain how dominant Uber Eats would be across the country, since Postmates holds considerably less market share than the other major players.