Backlash to rumored Uber-Grubhub merger gets louder

By Harrison Weber

Senate Democrats are calling on antitrust enforcers at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission “to closely monitor Uber’s potential acquisition of Grubhub.”

A new letter—signed by Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Cory Booker of New Jersey—warns regulators that the rumored mega-merger could eliminate competition and deprive users of “a future in which online food delivery is more efficient, more innovative, and less expensive.” The letter was addressed to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim and FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.

The letter follows an earlier statement on the rumored deal from Klobuchar, which argues “the last thing [consumers and restaurants] need is an increase in the extremely high fees already paid to these companies.”

And, indeed, delivery fees have increased over the years as the market’s consolidated. As demand rises during the coronavirus pandemic, companies such as Uber, GrubHub, and DoorDash have faced new scrutiny over the high fees they levy on restaurant owners and customers alike—in addition to the hardships gig workers still face on the front lines of the pandemic.

We reached out to Uber and Grubhub for comment and will update if we hear back.


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