During the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, Uber has had to refocus its business model slightly, which is why we’ve been seeing a number of Uber Eats related services and offerings being released over the past couple of months. Food delivery has quickly become an essential service as a result, which is likely why Uber has reportedly acquired Postmates for an estimated $2.65 billion.
At the time of writing neither party has confirmed that the acquisition has taken place but if ,it does, it would make Uber the second largest delivery service in the United States.
As Engadget points out, Uber has been trying to acquire another food delivery company in the US for some time, having already failed to do so with DoorDash and GrubHub. This acquisition would also help strengthen the company’s presence in the Southwest regions of the US, where use of Postmates is high.
While a sizeable deal in the COVID-19 era, this move would seemingly mean little as far as Uber Eats is concerned in other parts of the globe, especially as Postmates is not available in South Africa, for example.
What is of importance about this deal, however, is what it could mean for gig workers, who often work for two or three of these kinds of services in order to supplement their income. As such, those in the US who are facilitating deliveries from both Uber Eats and Postmates, could now see one of their sources of income taken away.
It remains to be seen what will happen to Postmates should the acquisition take place, but should it, it is believed that Uber Eats VP, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, will head up both firms.
Either way, the number of delivery service options available to consumers will shrink by one in the US, if and indeed when this deal is finalised.