NEW YORK—An antitrust investigation into the business practices of online food ordering services GrubHub and Seamless Web has reached a settlement.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced late on Monday, Aug. 5 that Seamless Web and GrubHub will conform to certain provisions to allow for a fair and competitive marketplace in the online food ordering business.
The settlement had three major components, including waiving existing exclusive rights with restaurants, and the prohibition of future exclusive contracts with restaurants and any future exclusive agreement with Yelp.
Seamless and GrubHub are in the process of merging into one company, but must waive their exclusivity agreements, allowing all Manhattan restaurants to contract with competitors and use new platforms.
For the most part, they won’t be allowed to enter into any exclusive deals with restaurants for 18 months, and must notify the attorney general’s office if they enter into any practices prohibited under the settlement within six months after termination of the 18-month period.
Seamless/GrubHub will be forbidden from making any kind of an exclusive agreement with Yelp, an emerging major competitor. If a business relationship with Yelp related to online food ordering is formed within 18 months, it cannot be exclusive.
A copy of the settlement can be seen here [http://www.ag.ny.gov/pdfs/2013%2008%2002%20AOD%20Seamless-GrubHub%20NY%20AG%20%28FINAL%29.pdf]