Just Eat has slammed the competition watchdog’s “U-turn” decision to give the go-ahead to Amazon’s £442m investment in Deliveroo during the coronavirus crisis.
The delivery platform, which was bought by Dutch firm Takeaway.com earlier this year, said it was “concerned by the very sudden U-turn in the Competition and Market Authority’s decision making”.
The CMA launched an investigation into the investment in December over concerns that it could hurt competition in the UK food delivery market.
However, last month the watchdog gave it the provisional green light, warning Deliveroo could collapse without additional investment as restaurants were closed during the coronavirus crisis. The CMA will make a permenant decision in June.
In evidence to the CMA, Just Eat said that the coronavirus pandemic would not cause permanent damage to Deliveroo’s business.
Just Eat said the demand for deliveries of takeaway food and groceries had increased during the coronavirus lockdown.
The delivery firm said the CMA’s decision must be based on “incorrect or misleading data” or an “extremely narrow” period at the beginning of the crisis.
“While Just Eat Takeaway does not question the very serious and perturbing nature of the Covid-19 crisis, it does not believe that this creates a “carte blanche” to assume permanent, irreversible negative impact on businesses, particularly those who are in the business of delivering food to people at home in circumstances that align with social distancing rules,” it said.
A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “This investment is a key part of Deliveroo’s plan to provide an even better service to customers, riders and restaurants and, as we’re a British company, this will be a boost to the UK economy.
“The unprecedented health crisis we all face has disrupted businesses across the country. This investment will help us to overcome immediate and long-term challenges, allow us to continue to improve our service for customers, enable us to develop new innovations and offer people even greater choice.
“Everyone at Deliveroo is excited that Amazon, the most customer-obsessed and innovative company in the world, has chosen to invest in Deliveroo’s future.”