In a new letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, a group of Democrats in the Senate urge regulators to “closely monitor the negotiations” between Uber and Grubhub and to initiate an antitrust investigation if a rumored deal between the two companies comes to pass.
In a letter signed by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Patrick Leahy, Richard Blumenthal and Cory Booker, the lawmakers caution that a merger between Uber’s food delivery service Uber Eats and its competitor Grubhub would lead to “serious competition issues” and a market dominated by only two remaining players. They also called attention to the unique leverage food delivery companies have over gig workers and restaurants right now as those services see explosive growth from new users seeking to get food safely during the crisis.
“As our country grapples with the many health and safety challenges brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many consumers have turned to food delivery apps to order meals online, and many restaurants have come to rely on the business they get through these apps to stay afloat,” the group of lawmakers wrote.
Following a Wall Street Journal report on the potential merger last week, House antitrust subcommittee chair Rep. David Cicilline called it “a new low in pandemic profiteering.”