FTC to rule on Woowa Brothers acquisition in DecemberKorea's antitrust regulator plans to decide next month whether to approve a $4 billion deal by Germany's Delivery Hero to acquire Korea's top food delivery app operator, Woowa Brothers, officials said Tuesday.
The Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said it has sent documents about an antitrust review to the German food delivery company.
If Delivery Hero submits its opinion on the documents to the FTC, the Korean regulator will make a decision on the deal on Dec. 9, FTC officials said.
Delivery Hero — which also has the second-biggest delivery player in Korea, Yogiyo, under its wing — said in late 2019 that it will acquire an 87 percent stake in Woowa, the operator of delivery app Baedal Minjok, or Baemin, from existing investors, such as Goldman Sachs and Singaporean fund GIC.
Founded in 2010 as a food delivery company, Woowa Brothers quickly became the country's top online food delivery services firm, with over 10 million active monthly users in a country with a population of 51 million. Woowa Brothers' Baemin accounted for up to 60 percent of the market.
But the combined users of Yogiyo and Baemin will account for 98.7 percent of all users of food delivery-related apps in Asia's fourth-largest economy, triggering concerns that the mega deal could hamper competition in the fast-growing market.
Korea's food delivery app market, which reached 10 trillion won ($8.6 billion) in 2019, is expected to jump this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.