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Amazon’s Multimillion Pound Investment in Takeaway Pedallers Deliveroo May Never Happen

The Competition and Markets Authority is opening a full merger investigation into the two companies

A composite image of Amazon-branded boxes on the left, and a Deliveroo restaurant delivery rider on the right Images: Getty Images; Composite: Eater London

Company merger enforcers investigate Deliveroo and Amazon

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating delivery giant Amazon’s multimillion pound investment into food delivery giant Deliveroo. The CMA has launched the first of two possible investigatory “phases”: the first phase “will decide whether the deal has created a serious lessening of competition in the British food delivery market,” according to the Guardian. This does not mean the investment, which amounts to a minority stake, will be blocked: the regulator can then decide whether Amazon or Deliveroo can provide satisfactory assurances that the deal does not constitute a merger. If they fail to meet those criteria, the investigation will proceed to phase two, in which the CMA could block the deal.

At the time of the deal, former Eater London contributor Soheb Panja — who has written about Deliveroo’s impact on the London restaurant market extensively — noted that “the Deliveroo deal suggests Amazon still believes in the strategic value of food delivery as a long term business, but didn’t see it worthwhile slugging it with Uber/Deliveroo to get scale. The three of them battling away would have meant a brutal price/commission battle.” That slugging is, by another name, competition, and if Amazon and Roo Foods, which trades as Deliveroo, were to bypass that in merging, the CMA could deem the investment inadmissible. Deliveroo says it “is cooperating fully with the CMA.” [Guardian]

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