Following the cycle of stories of Uber’s plans to buy Grubhub — a potential move that reportedly rankled U.S. senators and investors alike — it looks like the multibillion-dollar food delivery company has found a new buyer: Just Eat Takeaway, a food-delivery service based in Europe. The acquisition, per Bloomberg, cost the dot-com company a hefty $US7.3 ($11) billion dollars.
It’s a move that makes a certain amount of sense. Right now, the digital food delivery market is in a “consolidate or die” state. Even as people around the world have been stuck at home — and missing their favourite restaurants — booming sales haven’t been enough to compensate for the equally booming operation costs.
The trans-Atlantic deal between Grubhub and Just Eat doesn’t just create the largest digital food delivery operator outside of China, but also gives each company a bit of a cushion from these economic ills — not to mention a collective 70 million diners spread across the globe.
And, of course, as other stories on the deal have pointed out, a U.S.-European deal is less likely to get knocked down by antitrust regulators. When the deal between Uber and Grubhub was still on the table, we noted the resulting merger would have gobbled up more than half the market in several major cities across the country, including Chicago, Boston and New York. Now, Grubhub’s market joins Just Eat’s globally, but doesn’t expand within U.S. borders.
Aside from the regulatory baggage, Uber also came sidled with financial issues abound. Since the pandemic hit, the company has hemorrhaged 14% of its staff, shuttered operations in eight international markets, and seen a stock price that’s more than a bit shaky, to say the least. At the very least, it looks like these new owners are less nerve-wracking.