German online takeaway food company Delivery Hero and its Spanish business Glovo were raided by European Union antitrust regulators, the companies said on Wednesday, putting them at risk of hefty fines.
The European Commission said earlier that online food and grocery delivery companies in two EU countries had been raided over concerns they may be in a cartel, but did not name the companies involved or the countries.
'The investigation concerns an alleged agreement or concerted practice to share national markets for the online ordering and delivery of food, groceries and other consumer goods in the European Union,' the EU antitrust agency said in a statement.
Delivery Hero said the inspection did not mean the Commission, which acts as the antitrust enforcer in the 27-country bloc, had concluded there had been an actual infringement of competition law.
The company, which said the raids took place at its Berlin office, said it was committed to cooperating fully with the Commission.
Spanish food delivery app Glovo, in which Delivery Hero recently acquired a 94% stake, confirmed the raids and said it was cooperating with the EU agency.
Its Barcelona headquarters were raided last week, Glovo said in an emailed response to a Reuters' query, without providing further details of the operation.
Just Eat Takeaway, the biggest online food delivery group in the EU, Uber, which owns Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Estonia's Bolt and grocery services Gorillas and Flink were not involved, spokespeople for these companies said.
US peer Doordash's Finnish business Wolt also said it was not involved.
EU Antitrust Rules
Companies found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules face fines up to 10% of their global turnover.
A spokesperson for Germany's cartel office said it had assisted the European Commission with a review of online delivery services on June 27.
Elsewhere, Amazon has agreed to take a 2% stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com's US meal delivery business Grubhub, and will offer its Prime members access to the service for one year.
News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest technology news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.