Amazon’s investment in British food delivery startup Deliveroo has been halted by Britain’s competition regulator in a rare loss for the Masters of the Universe.
Business Insider reports that Amazon’s $575 million investment in British food delivery startup Deliveroo has been put on hold by the U.K.’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA has stepped in to pause the deal and prevent any integration attempts between the two companies as it considers launching a full investigation. The CMA said that the initial enforcement orders were served to the companies on June 24.
The CMA referred to Amazon’s investment as “a minority shareholding,” and stated that it had reasonable grounds for suspecting that Amazon and Deliveroo “have ceased to be distinct,” or were considering business arrangements that would result in the companies “ceasing to be distinct.” The current halt of the investment gives the CMA time to decide whether or not to launch a “Phase 1” competition probe.
A Deliveroo spokesperson commented on the issue stating: “There are a number of major companies within the restaurant food delivery sector and this investment will enable Deliveroo to expand, innovate and, we believe, will enhance competition.” Amazon commented on the issue stating: “We believe this minority investment will enable Deliveroo to expand its services, benefiting consumers through increased choice and creating new jobs as more restaurants gain access to the service.”
If the CMA decides to open an investigation, the companies could suggest ways to address issues raised by the CMA. If the companies had already merged financially, this process would be much harder.