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REUTERS/Toby Melville
Just Eat acquires Grubhub.

Uber’s lost deal for Grubhub is still a huge step for the food delivery sector

Michelle Cheng
Member exclusive by Michelle Cheng

On June 10, Grubhub cut Uber out of a potential deal and agreed to merge with Just Eat Takeaway, a European food delivery service, in an all-stock purchase valued at $7.3 billion.

For Uber, the trans-Atlantic marriage marks a lost opportunity—one that would have allowed it to create the largest US food delivery service, leapfrog over DoorDash, and put considerably more distance between Uber Eats and smaller rivals like Postmates and Waitr.

Perhaps the problem came down to price, but it’s clear Uber would have faced an uphill battle getting regulatory clearance to buy Grubhub (not that Uber, or its Uber Eats division, is a stranger to regulatory challenges). On May 20, US senator Amy Klobuchar and a group of fellow Democrats sent a letter (pdf) to the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division, urging an investigation into the merger if the deal between Uber and Grubhub went through.

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