The deal is a consolation prize of sorts for Grubhub. As CNBC explained, Grubhub had courted Uber as a potential buyer until talks fell through. Antitrust concerns were reportedly the sticking point — both companies were worried that the combination of two US-based delivery giants might run afoul of regulators, and they couldn’t agree on how Uber would help Grubhub through any government challenges. On the surface, at least, a Just Eat deal is more likely to go through.
Uber isn’t heartbroken. A spokesperson said that the delivery market will “need consolidation” to meet its potential, but that Uber wasn’t so determined to merge that it would accept “any deal, at any price, with any player.”
Provided the buyout goes forward, it should give Grubhub more of a safety net in the US as it competes with Uber, DoorDash and others. You might not have to worry about losing access to a preferred app or restaurant. It also helps Just Eat’s reentrance in the UK. This might not be great for overall competition, though. While an Uber deal would have had more of an impact on competition in places like the US, the Just Eat merger could still make it harder for upstarts to get a foothold.