CMA determines Amazon investment in Deliveroo would not result in significant lessening of competition in restaurant or grocery sector: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has determined Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo will not result in a significant lessening of competition in the restaurant or grocery sector. The announcement means the CMA has reissued a provisional approval of Amazon’s £442m deal to buy a 16% stake in Deliveroo. The watchdog said Amazon’s bid to gain a seat on Deliveroo’s board as part of the purchase would not entail superior voting rights to any other shareholder and meant there was not enough reason to block the deal. The CMA said If Amazon was to acquire a greater level of control over Deliveroo, either de facto control or full control, “that would constitute a separate transaction and would itself be subject to possible review by the CMA”. The decision could still be overturned before final approval and the CMA is now inviting comments on its findings by Friday, 10 July. The CMA first provisionally approved Amazon’s bid in April, stating the food delivery startup could face collapse due to the impact of coronavirus and the cash to save it was “realistically only available from Amazon”. “The CMA currently considers the imminent exit of Deliveroo would be worse for competition than allowing the Amazon investment to proceed and has therefore provisionally found that the deal should be cleared,” it said at the time. However, the CMA said in its report it no longer believed the “failing firm” defence was valid, but its consideration of the investment purely on competition grounds had led it to the same conclusion. The CMA has decided allowing the investment would not damage competition in either the restaurant delivery sector or in grocery deliveries, where Deliveroo has been expanding its presence during the coronavirus pandemic.
PizzaExpress to reopen 46 sites for dine-in and 23 additional restaurants for click-and-collect and delivery: PizzaExpress, is to reopen 46 of its restaurants for dine-in customers from Thursday, 9 July. It follows the trial of delivery and click-and-collect services at select locations across London. Among the sites to reopen to dine-in customers include Chester, Eldon Square in Newcastle and Macclesfield. The latest stage of its phased reopening plans will also see PizzaExpress open an additional 23 locations for delivery and click-and-collect services only from Thursday, 2 July, including 18 in London. These plans have been developed in line with the latest government advice. Safety measures that were introduced during the trials of delivery and click-and-collect services will be implemented across the newly reopened sites. These include a review of the menu, social distancing and heightened cleaning measures. Additional measures, including regular health checks of team members, hand sanitiser stations, heightened hygiene procedures, digital menus and online payment will also be introduced. Managing director Zoe Bowley said: “The extensive safety measures we have in place across all reopened pizzerias will allow us to provide the full PizzaExpress experience that our customers have come to love, in a safe and responsible way, as we work to gradually bring back our freshly handmade pizza to even more locations in the near future.”