The planned merger of takeaway-ordering services Just Eat and Hungryhouse will be subject to an in-depth investigation from UK competition regulators over fears restaurants could end up with a worse deal.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Deliveroo and UberEats represented less direct competition in Britain’s food deliver market as they targeted different restaurants in fewer areas.

The CMA said it is “therefore concerned that the loss of competition resulting from the Just Eat/Hungryhouse merger may result in worse terms for restaurants using either of the two companies”.

The investigation will now move to an in-depth phase 2 inquiry, unless Just Eat makes proposals in the next week that allay the CMA’s concerns.

Just Eat announced its deal to buy UK rival Hungryhouse for £200m-240m in December and the company has since lost its chief executive and chairman.

The company said it “looks forward to cooperating with the CMA and is committed to demonstrating to the CMA that the market is, and will remain, competitive following completion of the proposed transaction”.

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