Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub and DoorDash face proposed class action lawsuit over charging exorbitant fees midst coronavirus pandemic

In a proposed class action suit filed in Manhattan federal court, three customers have sued GrubHub, Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats for allegedly exploiting their dominance in restaurant meal deliveries to impose fees that consumers ultimately bear through higher menu prices; this includes the current timeframe of the coronavirus pandemic when most U.S. cities are under some form of a lockdown.

According to the three consumers, the defendants violated U.S. antitrust law by requiring that restaurants charge delivery customers and dine-in customers the same price, while imposing “exorbitant” fees of 10% to 40% of revenue to process delivery orders.

The consumers, all from New York, said this sticks restaurants with a “devil’s choice” of charging everyone higher prices as a condition of using the defendants’ services.

“Plaintiffs bring this claim for relief on behalf of all Americans who would still [like] to enjoy a nice dinner out with their family before defendants make that impossible,” reads the complaint.

Both, Grubhub Inc whose businesses include Seamless and Grubhub, and Uber Technologies Inc which owns Uber Eats, declined comment.

Neither Postmates nor DoorDash immediately responded to requests for comment.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to similar requests for comments.

The lawsuit seeks triple damages, including for overcharges, since April 14, 2016 for dine-in and delivery customers in the United States at restaurants using the defendants’ delivery apps.

The case is Davitashvili et al v Grubhub Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 20-03000.

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