The acquisition of the 4 Greek companies by Delivery Hero has been approved
The Competition Commission finally approved the acquisition of the four companies of the Mouhalis Group by the German multinational online food-delivery service
The Competition Committee unanimously approved the acquisition of the four companies of the Mouhalis Group (ALPHA DISTRIBUTIONS S.A., INKAT SA, DELIVERY P.C.C. and E-TABLE P.C.C.) by Delivery Hero, known from the e-food platform. The approval has eventually been realised, as the company pledged to comply with the remedies, which stemmed from the concerns about antitrust compliance policy.More specifically, Delivery Hero undertook the obligation not to bind the services of efood with the online booking services of e-table and not to proceed to special offers for the combined provision of services of the two platforms.
It also committed to take measures not to use the data of the end-users of the efood platform and not to implement personalized promotional service strategies for the e-table services and vice versa. Compliance with the Commitments will be checked by a specially appointed agent. Delivery Hero has undertaken to honour the commitments for two years.
The announcement of the Competition Commission
At a plenary meeting of the Competition Committee on April 18, 2022 (Decision 775/2022), it was unanimously decided to approve the notified concentration by “DELIVERY HERO SE” concerning the acquisition of exclusive control over the companies a) “ALPHA DISTRIBUTIONS S.A.”, b) “INKAT SA”, c) “DELIVERY P.C.” and d) “E-TABLE P.C.”, on the basis of the commitments undertaken by Delivery Hero SE to the Competition Commission, under the detailed terms and conditions provided for therein (corrective measures), in accordance with article 8 par. 6 and 8 of Law 3959/2011.
Delivery Hero SE is the parent company of a group in Greece, a subsidiary of which is the company “Online Delivery S.A.”, which operates the online ordering platform “efood”, through which consumers connect with restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and other local stores, as well as the company “Delivery Hero Dmart Greece S.A.”, which operates the online convenience store “efood market.”Regarding the acquired: (a) “Alpha Distributions S.A.” is active in the wholesale distribution of supermarket goods; (b) Inkat SA in wholesale and, in particular, the retail sale of groceries through kiosky’s convenience stores; (c) the ‘Delivery.gr PC’ operates the ‘delivery.gr’ platform, which provides online intermediation services for orders from restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and other local shops and (d) the “E-table Restaurant Reservations via internet Single-Member IKE” provides online intermediation services for the realization of online reservation services in restaurants, through the service “e-table.”
According to the Decision, in the market of online intermediation for the distribution of supermarket products after the acquisition, Delivery Hero, with its applications e-food.gr and delivery.gr will hold a strong share which is not expected to change significantly in the future given its exclusive cooperation with a large supermarket chain.However, in view of the bargaining power of the other supermarkets, whose online sales are mainly achieved through proprietary websites, vis-à-vis the online platforms, it is ultimately estimated that the merged entity will not be in a position to substantially change the competitive conditions compared to the pre-merger situation and will therefore not be in a position to significantly restrict competition on this market.
However, it is estimated that potential rallying effects of uncoordinated behaviour arise from the combination of the new entity’s significant activities in the online intermediation market for the realisation of online booking services in restaurants through the e-table platform and in the online intermediation market for the sale of ready-made food through the e-food platform.
In particular, it is estimated that the merged entity will have both the capacity and the incentive to implement a policy of tied or group sales, offering the online intermediation services for the sale of ready-made food for which it already has a strong market position, together with the online booking services in restaurants, resulting in a reduction in the capacity or incentives of its competitors in the market for online booking services in restaurants to create effective competition, but also possibly strengthening its power in the aforementioned markets through the use of e-table users’ data. In order to remedy the above concerns of the Competition Commission, Delivery Hero has made the following commitments.
Delivery Hero (especially through efood) unreservedly undertakes not to tying the online intermediation services for the sale of ready-made food with the online reservation services in restaurants, when addressing professional customers/restaurants, in the Greek territory. The latter will be free to purchase each of the services separately. Moreover, the company unreservedly undertakes not to provide business customers/restaurants with special discounts and/or to charge reduced commissions/fees in the Greek territory, when such customers/restaurants purchase both online intermediation services for the sale of ready-made food (in particular from the efood platform) and online booking services in restaurants (or through the efood platform, in case the e-table appears on it, either directly from the e-table).
In addition, Delivery Hero is committed to take measures so that it does not use the data of the end users of the efood platform in order to implement personalized promotional services strategies for the services of the e-table and vice versa, unless it has been previously approved by the end users to receive personalized advertising and marketing communications, in accordance with the applicable provisions on the protection of personal data.
Compliance with the Commitments will be checked by a specially appointed Agent. Delivery Hero undertakes the Commitments for two (2) years from the date of completion of the transaction. At the end of the 2nd year of validity of the Commitments, the extension of the Commitments for one (1) more year will be considered on the basis of quantitative data to be submitted to the Trustee.The company reserves the right to request from the Competition Commission the review of the corrective measures in case the market conditions change significantly and on a permanent basis.
It is clarified that for the purposes of the Commitments, the completion of the transaction is defined as the transfer of 100% of the share capital through the transfer of 100% of the share capital or the acquisition in any other way of exclusive control (directly or indirectly) by Delivery Hero SE over the company E-table Single Member PC. Finally, in case of non-compliance with these commitments, the Competition Commission may impose the fines provided for by law.