EMEA Daily: UK Closer to New Online Ad Rules

Just Eat Takeaway Explores Sale of Grubhub

In today’s top stories from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the U.K. is preparing new ad regulations that could affect companies like Google and Facebook.

Also, Dutch food delivery startup Just Eat Takeaway considers taking a loss as it tries to sell Grubhub, and Dubai-based travel tech startup Swvl lays off 32% of its workforce.

UK to Close Online Advertising Consultation Eyeing Stricter Rules, Regulator

Google, Meta, TikTok and other companies in the online advertising space could face a new regulatory landscape in the United Kingdom as a result of new legislation, regulators and enforcement actions.

On June 8, the British government will conclude public consultation on its Online Advertising Program, and could soon thereafter impose tougher online advertising rules.

Under the current system, the placement of online advertising in the U.K. is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which has no enforcement powers and is governed by a system of self-regulation. But a rise in scams and promotions of fraudulent products has led the government to consider changing its ad regulations.

Just Eat Takeaway Mulls Multi-Billion Hit to Unload Grubhub

Dutch food delivery startup Just Eat Takeaway (JET) could take a multi-billion hit to sell off delivery platform Grubhub.

JET bought Grubhub last year for 5.8 billion pounds ($7.3 billion) and now could sell for as low as 1 billion pounds, The Times reported, citing numerous sources with insider information.

The company reportedly reduced Grubhub’s sale price to garner support from potential buyers, the sources said. A number of private equity firms were reportedly eyeing the purchase, although it is not known if any serious buyers came forward.

Ride-Share Company Swvl Plans to Cut 32% of Staff

Dubai’s Swvl said it will cut its workforce by 32% in an effort to get the mass transit platform on the path to profitability.

The company has about 1,336 employees, meaning the layoffs would affect 427 workers. Swvl announced the job cuts as part of a “portfolio optimization program to enhance efficiency and reduce central costs to accelerate its path to profitability to turn cash flow positive in 2023.”

Open Banking Firm Tarabut Gateway Partners With 4 Saudi Banks

Tarabut Gateway, an open banking company based in Bahrain, has formed partnerships with four banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as part of its expansion into that country.

The firm said the four banks are Riyad Bank, Saudi British Bank (SABB), Alinma Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF).

“The KSA market is ideally positioned for the coming Open Banking revolution, as the country has prioritized financial sector transformation as part of the Financial Sector Development Program, under the Saudi Vision 2030 plan for economic and social reform,” Tarabut said in a news release. “Within this, KSA has announced its ambition to go cashless, aiming for 70% non-cash transactions by 2030.

Trustly Acquires Ecospend

Global pay platform Trustly, which works on account-to-account (A2A) transactions, has purchased open banking platform Ecospend in an effort to tap into a massive market for its services in the U.K.

In acquiring Ecospend, Trustly will gain access to the A2A product and full bank connectivity, the company said in a news release. The market offers a “dynamic ecosystem” and will have well-accelerating consumer adoption and strong transaction volume growth, Trustly said.