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Deal is back on: Amazon to buy stake in Deliveroo

This is an interesting business story. Deliveroo is a London-based online food delivery company that was founded back in 2013 and today accounts for a big chunk of the online restaurant platform market in the UK. (They are also developing a network of “ghost kitchens” through a subsidiary called Deliveroo Editions.)

Amazon has been and still is interested in buying a minority stake in the company (Roofoods Ltd). But the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been blocking it out of fear that it would stifle competition. The thinking was that if they blocked this deal, maybe, just maybe, Amazon would enter the market on its own. And more participants means more competition.

The merger case was opened on July 5, 2019.

Well, Deliveroo’s business is now struggling amid this pandemic. To deliver food from restaurants and then charge those restaurants a commission, it turns out that you typically need those restaurants to be open for business. So the CMA is now revisiting the case. Is it better to have Amazon invest in Deliveroo or have Deliveroo possibly fail?

The CMA has decided that the former now makes more sense — at least provisionally.

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