Uber Said to Be in Talks to Acquire Grubhub

Uber is in talks to acquire Grubhub, said two people with knowledge of the discussions, aiming to create one giant player in food delivery as more people turn toward those services in the coronavirus pandemic.

It was unclear how advanced the discussions were and whether a deal would come together, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks were confidential.

Representatives from Uber and Grubhub declined to comment. Bloomberg earlier reported the talks.

The discussions are a sign of how the companies are working to capitalize on people’s shifting behavior. With consumers staying home and many restaurants across the country shut down, more people are turning to food deliveries for meals.

But the discussions are also an attempt by Uber to limit damage to its business and find a new path for growth. The company’s main ride-hailing business has been severely hurt by the coronavirus as most travel has halted. Its Uber Eats division, which brings meal deliveries to people, has been a bright spot.

Last week, Uber posted a $2.9 billion loss for the first three months of the year and said that even though its revenue was up from a year earlier, its ride-hailing business had all but collapsed in March. It also announced it was laying off 14 percent of its work force.

“In the food category, you were seeing a bunch of consolidation,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, said in a call with investors last week. “There is a bunch of consolidation happening on a global basis where bigger players cannot only provide better service for restaurants and consumers, but can provide a better service kind of on an economic basis that is sustainable.”