Economic Liberties’ Statement on Chicago’s Decision to Sue Grubhub and DoorDash

August 27, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project on Friday released the following statement from Senior Fellow Moe Tkacik in response to the City of Chicago’s lawsuit against Grubhub and DoorDash:

These suits are critical for Chicago restaurants suffering under the tyranny of dominant delivery apps like Doordash and Grubhub, which operate by extorting and exploiting restaurants, workers, and consumers. These app corporations took advantage of a worldwide pandemic, marketing themselves as a lifeline to restaurants in distress, while in practice stealing their menus and intellectual property in a concerted bid to hijack those restaurants’ relationships with their customers and raise prices for consumers.

DoorDash founder Tony Xu has described basic legal protections for restaurants as “violently unconstitutional.” But it is the business model of DoorDash and the delivery app cartel that actually violates many state constitutions, as last week’s court decision striking down a DoorDash-backed ballot measure in California shows. Chicago’s new lawsuit lays out compelling evidence that Xu has been flouting Illinois law too.

Restaurants have called on state and federal lawmakers, state attorneys general, and federal enforcers like the FTC to investigate and outlaw the deceptive and unfair practices this pair of suits highlights. We’re thrilled to see Chicago enforcers do their part.

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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.