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Uber Eats to acquire foodpanda delivery business in Taiwan

05/14/2024 05:00 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Uber Technologies, Inc., the parent company of delivery platform Uber Eats, has reached an agreement with Delivery Hero SE to acquire its foodpanda delivery service in Taiwan, according to a joint news statement released Monday (U.S. west coast time).

While subject to regulatory approval by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC), the acquisition is anticipated to close in the first half of 2025 and involve a US$950 million cash transaction, the statement said.

Delivery Hero CEO and co-founder Niklas Östberg justified the acquisition by saying that the company, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, needs to focus its "resources on other parts of our global footprint, where we feel we can have the largest impact for customers, vendors and riders."

The statement said that the deal would give consumers greater food choices and price points by the businesses on each platform all featuring on the Uber Eats platform.

While the deal is ongoing, foodpanda will operate as usual in Taiwan, giving customers and vendors the best service possible, the statement assured.

When the deal wraps up, the platform's local consumers, merchants and delivery partners will be transitioned to Uber Eats.

The deal, if it goes ahead, would be one of the largest international acquisitions in Taiwan outside the semiconductor industry, the statement said.

One of the many vendors in Taiwan that use both the delivery services of foodpanda and Uber Eats in Kaohsiung. CNA photo May 14, 2024
One of the many vendors in Taiwan that use both the delivery services of foodpanda and Uber Eats in Kaohsiung. CNA photo May 14, 2024

Meanwhile, You Kai-hsiung (游開雄), the honorary chairperson of Taiwan's Consumers' Foundation, told CNA Tuesday that the FTC should be wary of the acquisition resulting in a monopoly.

Given that the deal would involve the two largest food delivery businesses in Taiwan coming together, he warned that the lack of competition could impact consumer rights.

FTC vice-chair Chen Chih-min (陳志民) told CNA that the commission has not yet received an application for the acquisition.

Given that Uber Eats and foodpanda are Taiwan's largest two food delivery platforms, the proposition needs to be filed to the commission under the Fair Trade Act in advance, he said.

While the acquisition could help reduce costs and enhance service quality, without competition, businesses may also be incentivized to reduce service quality to consumers and restaurants, said Chen.

If necessary, a public hearing or symposium could be held to collect a range of opinions about the case, he said.

(By Lai Yen-hsi, Pan Tzu-yu, Yang Shu-min and Wu Kuan-hsien)


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