GrubHub sells, but not to Uber

Life goes on, as does business.

The European food-delivery company Just Eat Takeaway is buying GrubHub for more than $7 billion. Casual observers can be forgiven for thinking Uber was buying GrubHub, a deal reported to have been in the works since last month. Sources talking to journalists suggested an Uber-GrubHub tie-up wouldn’t have passed muster with U.S. antitrust regulators. Seeing as GrubHub wanted to sell, it went with someone who could buy. cleverly suggests Just Eat investors will need a fistful of antacid to swallow the deal. Because the buyer doesn’t have its own U.S. operations, it’ll need to keep GrubHub’s. That’s good for GrubHub employees, but Wall Street types note that Uber would have been able to rationalize its prey better—a euphemism for firing more people.

As for Uber, its to-do list remains long. Acquiring Doordash or Postmates would be pricier—and still problematic, regulatory-wise. The food-delivery business needs to get bigger quickly if it’s to make money. The self-driving car world is busy consolidating, but there hasn’t been a peep of late about Uber’s intentions for its robotic vehicle business. And California is winning its case that Uber’s drivers should be treated as employees. Still, Lyft has said business is picking up in the U.S., so the same is likely true for Uber. Demonstrating its stated commitment to hygiene will be a challenge.

Adam Lashinsky


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This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman.

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