The merger of online food takeaway delivery rivals Just Eat and Hungryhouse is on course to be cleared following a provisional ruling by the competition regulator.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced in May that it was to examine whether restaurants faced the prospect of getting a worse deal under the proposed £200m tie-up – distorting competition in the process.
Their business models work by providing a food ordering platform and delivery drivers to restaurants.
The eateries pay for the service to expand their reach and customer base.
Rivals include UberEATS and Deliveroo.
Martin Cave, who chaired the CMA’s investigation, said: "We carefully assessed competition in this rapidly evolving industry to make sure this merger would not result in increased prices or reduced quality of offering for either restaurants or their customers.
"We obtained evidence from all the major industry participants and carried out surveys, with the public and restaurants, to understand how the merger could impact both types of customers.
"We found that Hungryhouse was a weak competitor to Just Eat and so competition is unlikely to be substantially reduced by this merger, especially given the entry and rapid expansion of innovative suppliers in this sector."
The CMA said its provisional findings were now the subject of a consultation exercise, lasting until 2 November.
It will announce its final decision in the following weeks.
Just Eat first announced the takeover in December last year.
It said on Thursday: "We are pleased that the CMA has provisionally concluded that this transaction does not lessen competition.
"We look forward to continuing to deploy our technology and expertise to help more independent restaurants develop and grow their businesses, while offering an even better service to consumers."
Its shares were up more than 5% in late morning trade on the London Stock Exchange.
(c) Sky News 2017: Just Eat takeover of Hungryhouse gets the nod from regulator