Seamless and GrubHub agree to share Manhattan market after merger

Credit: Seamless/GrubHub
Your options on each service just got more diverse. Credit: Seamless/GrubHub

Two online food giants, Seamless and GrubHub, have agreed to eliminate exclusive arrangements with Manhattan restaurants after they merge, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Monday.

The package of settlements reached between the two companies addresses concerns over alternative online food ordering platforms being unable to compete when Seamless and GrubHub merge.

“New York’s restaurant industry is the best in the world, but its success depends on an environment of free and fair competition,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

The company announced the merger in May but await approval from federal regulators.

In an investigation into a proposed merger between the two companies, Schneiderman’s office found Seamless had a large number of exclusive contracts with Manhattan restaurants. The prospect of a merger, his office said, increases the risk of anticompetitive effects for the city’s food ordering market.

In the settlement, the companies agreed to waive existing exclusive rights with Manhattan restaurants within 45 days after a merger. The company cannot enter into exclusive agreements with restaurants or the review site Yelp for 18 months after the merger.

The settlement “ensures that no single online platform will have a monopoly on access to Manhattan restaurants,” Schneiderman said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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