The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given Just Eat and Takeaway.com’s £6.2bn merger deal the green light.
The CMA said both companies’ platforms link customers to hundreds of restaurants or food outlets, where they can browse takeaway options and order online.
As part of its investigation, the CMA considered information suggesting that Takeaway.com might have been well-placed to re-enter the UK market and compete with Just Eat, had the merger not gone ahead.
It added that as there are only a small number of companies that act as the middle-man between restaurants and customers, re-entry by Takeaway.com could have given UK customers more choice – and possibly better value for money or quality of service – when deciding what to order.
However, after “carefully” investigating these concerns and scrutinising large volumes of the two companies’ own internal business documents, the CMA said it is “satisfied” that there is not a material likelihood that Takeaway.com would have re-entered the UK in the future, had the merger not gone ahead.
Colin Raftery, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said: “After interrogating how this deal is likely to affect the UK market, we are satisfied that there are no competition concerns.
“Millions of people in the UK use online food platforms for takeaways and, where a merger could raise competition concerns, we have a duty to rigorously investigate whether customers could lose out.”
He added: “In this case, we carefully considered whether Takeaway.com could have re-entered the UK market in future, giving people more choice. 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.”
Just Eat is one of the main food delivery firms in the UK market, while Takeaway.com N.V operates in 11 countries overseas, including the Netherlands and Germany, but has not been active in the UK since exiting in 2016.