As restaurants move to takeout only, many people wonder how safe their food is.
A new lawsuit against the major food-delivery services accuses them of charging “exorbitant fees” and forcing restaurants to raise prices for dine-in customers.
In the lawsuit seeking class-action status, several customers allege that GrubHub, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates have “monopoly power” that they wield against restaurants and consumers.
Their fees range from 13.5% to 40% of purchases, the lawsuit says, adding that the companies “prevent competition and limit consumer choice.”
“Specifically, Defendants use their market power to impose unlawful price restraints in their merchant contracts, which have the design and effect of restricting price competition from competitors in order to maintain … market share.”
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The lawsuit, which is not tied to the coronavirus pandemic, accuses the food delivery companies of forcing restaurants to charge “uniform prices for restaurants” menu items throughout all purchase platforms, preventing “restaurants from charging different prices to meal delivery customers than they charge to dine-in customers for the same menu items.”
That restriction qualifies as an “unlawful price restraint,” the plaintiffs allege.
GrubHub declined to comment Tuesday. Representatives of DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates weren’t immediately available to comment.
The plaintiffs – Mariam Davitashvili, Adam Bensimon and Mia Sapienza – said that if restaurants were not restricted from doing so, they could charge lower prices for food sold through their own delivery services or food sold for dining in.
They filed the lawsuit Monday in a federal court in New York.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
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