Germany's Delivery Hero, Spanish unit Glovo targeted in EU antitrust raids

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission said it had raided several online food and grocery delivery firms over concerns that they may be in a cartel.

 The Delivery Hero's logo is pictured at its headquarters in Berlin, Germany, August 18, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)
The Delivery Hero's logo is pictured at its headquarters in Berlin, Germany, August 18, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)

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.

 A woman wearing a protective face mask amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks past Glovo food delivery couriers in Kyiv, Ukraine August 6, 2020.  (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO) A woman wearing a protective face mask amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks past Glovo food delivery couriers in Kyiv, Ukraine August 6, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

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 ROO.L, 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.

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.