Ridesharing and food delivery giant Uber is reportedly in negotiations to purchase Grubhub, a rival food delivery service, in an all-stock deal. This acquisition comes amid coronavirus-related shutdowns that have all but halted Uber’s ridesharing service while aggressively bolstering demand for at-home food delivery.
The move indicates Uber’s acknowledgment that it must pivot focus to food delivery for the time being. While its flagship ridesharing operation is perhaps its most identifiable service, by 2019, Uber Eats had already become a more profitable venture. Now, with restrictions against social gatherings, workplaces closed and fears about being in confined places abounding, Uber is looking to embrace and buttress its second most popular market segment.
“If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em.”
Right now there are three main players in the food delivery industry. As of March, DoorDash handled 42% of sales, Grubhub followed 28% and Uber Eats was last with 20%.
Uber has a double incentive to swallow up Grubhub now, before DoorDash can make the move. By acquiring the second-largest player in the food delivery game, Uber not only knocks out an opponent, but Uber Eats becomes the market leader the day the deal closes.
Jesse Reyes, the CEO of J-Curve Advisors, says of Uber’s strategy, “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em.”
Uber’s scramble to eat up the competition is raising some alarms among monopoly watchdogs. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), the chair of the House Antitrust Subcommittee, calls Uber “a notoriously predatory company that has long denied its drivers a living wage.” He continued to say that Uber’s “attempt to acquire Grubhub—which has a history of exploiting local restaurants through deceptive tactics and extortionate fees—marks a new low in pandemic profiteering.”
While Uber’s move is certainly opportunistic, is it illegal? Antitrust laws exist to protect smaller businesses from being pushed out of the market by an unbeatable Goliath. Such laws also seek to prevent collusion between large firms to fix predatory prices that would bar other companies from entering the market and eviscerate fair competition. An acquisition by Uber is likely to be held under tight scrutiny, especially by the Democratically controlled House of Representatives.
No official acquisition has been confirmed just yet, but the two companies are in discussions on how to best combine forces. One GrubHub statement confirmed that the move is at least being considered, stating “consolidation could make sense in our industry.”
Meanwhile, rumors of haggling between the two companies suggest that Uber allegedly rejected an all-stock offer and that Grubhub demanded that investors receive 2.15 Uber shares for each share of Grubhub. Uber’s board of directors will convene in coming days to review the proposal.
Instagram to Launch TikTok Competitor in August
One of the rising stars of the COVID era has been TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing app that’s enchanted teens and young adults, while causing privacy concerns for our nation’s leaders.
But American-owned Instagram announced this week that it will launch a competitor by early August. The new feature, called Reels, is almost identical to TikTok.
What will Reels offer?
The major difference from the Chinese prototype is that posts on Reels will disappear when the story expires. TikTok, on the other hand, allows users to revisit videos permanently. If creators want to save their videos on Reels, they’ll have to add them to their profile.
Rolling Out the Feature
Reels will be available in the U.S. and 50 other countries by early August. It first launched last year in Brazil, and has also had trial runs in Germany and France. Additionally, Reels is available in India, which was TikTok’s second-largest market until its government banned the app last month over cybersecurity concerns.
If you are a casual Instagram user and are not looking forward to the inevitable avalanche of Reels stories, fear not. You can mute these stories by clicking a circular icon at the top of the home screen and holding down until a pop-up appears. Select “mute,” then “mute story.”
There are also rumors of a potential Reels app that is separate from the main Instagram app. This would be an attempt to recreate the TikTok experience.
Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
Reels will not be the first time that Instagram, which is a subsidiary of Facebook, has stolen popular features from other apps. Stories were originally a function of Snapchat, before Instagram recreated the feature and, using the same name. The move ultimately benefitted Instagram, as many users abandoned Snapchat for Instagram’s version of the Stories feature.
In 2018, Facebook created an app called Lasso with many of the same functions as TikTok. But Lasso never gained much steam. Facebook is now dismantling the app to make way for Reels.
The timing of the Reels launch is not insignificant. Just this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that the White House might ban TikTok in the US over privacy concerns. The app, which is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, collects data from its users, many of whom are minors. Fears have now mounted in the States that the Chinese government has easy access to these data. If a TikTok ban is on the horizon, Reels will be waiting in the wings.
Riliwan Lawal Drops Fatai Nurudeen With A Crazy Right Hook
Riliwan Lawal knocked out Fatai Nurudeen claiming the National and West African Featherweight Title belts, on the 26th of January, 2020.
Certainly, it was an explosive night with bouts like Massebinu vs Idowu, Salam vs Ukadike, Appah vs Segun. And then, title bouts like Olowu vs Ayiro, and Lawal vs Nurudeen amongst others. Lasigi Fight Night is the only pro-boxing event in Nigeria.
The January edition of the boxing event is titled The Resolution. Saleh Gloves Promotions sponsored the event in partnership with Unboxx Sports and Freels & Threels Promotions.
Even though both fighters exchanged intensively although the fight, Lawal displayed sheer brillance in the 7th round. As he knocked out cold, visibly tired Nurudeen to the amazement of the crowd.
Following his 7th round TKO against Nurudeen, the army boxer, Lawal emerged the new national and West African Featherweight champion.
It was such an exciting bout that even if you were there that night, you would want to watch it over and over again.
Watch the highlight of this thrilling matchup below and please subscribe to our YouTube channel.
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