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Just Eat gets amber light for Hungryhouse takeover

An independent panel investigating the deal – worth up to £240 million – found that Hungryhouse is little competition to Just Eat as it is far smaller and offers too few unique restaurants.

The Competition and Markets Authority began a deep “phase 2” probe into the merger after in May saying that its initial investigation found the companies were “close competitors because of the similarity of their service and their broad geographical coverage”.

Headquartered in London, Just Eat announced its intention to acquire Hungryhouse – a UK-based platform owned by German firm Delivery Hero – in December past year.

Just Eat paid £200m for Hungryhouse, which it bought from Delivery Hero, back in December of past year.

Prior to the decision today, the CMA chose to carry out a closer investigation into the merger, thinking it could be less beneficial for companies using a combined online platform rather than being given a choice of which website to use.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the takeover, which it had been probing since May, would not restrict competition and lead to a worse deal for consumers or restaurants.

Inquiry chairman Martin Cave said the competition in the “rapidly evolving industry” had been carefully assessed to make sure the merger would not result in increased prices or reduced quality for either restaurants or their customers.

The CMA also said the development of platforms such as Deliveroo and UberEats, pose a greater competitive challenge to Just Eat than Hungryhouse.

“The group found that Hungryhouse presently provides limited competition to Just Eat because it is much smaller in size and offers too few unique restaurants, making it increasingly hard for Hungryhouse to attract and retain customers”, reads the statement.

The proposed merger of Just Eat and Hungryhouse looks set to proceed after the competition regulator reached a provisional conclusion that the £200m deal does not raise competition concerns.

The online takeaway company expects to hear a final decision from the CMA by November.

The CMA is seeking views on its provisional findings before making a final decision.

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