The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has today provisionally cleared the anticipated acquisition of Hungryhouse Holdings Limited (Hungryhouse) by Just Eat plc (Just Eat). Just Eat and Hungryhouse are both online takeaway service providers, connecting restaurants and consumers in the UK. Frontier is advising Just Eat on the merger clearance aspects of its acquisition.
The CMA referred the merger for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation in May 2017 due to concerns that the transaction could lead to worse terms for restaurants listed on either platform. However, the provisional conclusion of the CMA’s Phase 2 investigation is that the merger is unlikely to give rise to a substantial lessening of competition. The CMA concluded that Hungryhouse provides limited competition to Just Eat because it is much smaller in size and offers limited unique restaurants, making it difficult for Hungryhouse to attract and retain consumers. In addition, the CMA found that the industry is rapidly evolving, with the entry of players such as Deliveroo, UberEATS and Amazon exerting a material and growing constraint on Just Eat.
The CMA is expected to publish its final report by the end of November 2017.
Frontier regularly advises companies on competition issues relating to online platforms.
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