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S. Korea to decide on Delivery Hero's acquisition of Woowa next month

All News 14:04 November 10, 2020

SEJONG, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's antitrust regulator plans to decide next month whether to approve a US$4 billion deal by Germany's Delivery Hero to acquire the nation's top food delivery app operator, Woowa Brothers, officials said Tuesday.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) 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 KFTC, the Korean regulator will make a decision on the deal on Dec. 9, KFTC officials said.

S. Korea to decide on Delivery Hero's acquisition of Woowa next month - 1

Delivery Hero -- which also has the second-biggest delivery player in South 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.

South 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.

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