Instacart in lawsuit against delivery startup Cornershop

Instacart filed a lawsuit against Cornershop likely because it’s worried about facing steep competition.
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Contxto – Grocery delivery drama coming your way. 

News recently broke that San Fran’s Instacart filed a lawsuit against Chilean-Mexican, Cornershop. The former argues that the latter stole and misused intellectual property from its e-grocery platform.

Specifically, Instacart states that Cornershop allegedly ripped off its product catalog to use it as its own.

Cornershop is engaging in a systematic effort to illegally steal Instacart’s proprietary catalog while attempting to conceal that theft for its own commercial benefit,” said an Instacart spokesperson.

Nonetheless, Instacart’s maneuver may have less to do with pretty pictures of products and more to do with its fear of Cornershop beating it in the grocery delivery competition in the US.

Let’s not forget that Cornershop made its debut in Dallas and Miami last May.

Uber and Cornershop aren’t scared

Since last year, Uber has been waiting to fully acquire Cornershop—an event that may have already taken place in practice.

Through Uber’s established network and infrastructure in the US market, Cornershop can become a key piece in the company’s stake in the grocery delivery market. What’s more, Instacart is already probably rattled by Uber’s intention to buy delivery platform, Postmates.

As a result, Instacart may be afraid of this acquisition is being finalized. More so considering it’s reportedly turned profitable due to pandemic-induced demand.

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Uber’s reaction to all of this?

It’s rather patronizing—but in a funny way.

“Instacart is facing a new challenge in the US from a Chilean upstart, and it’s unfortunate that their first move is litigation instead of competition,” said an Uber spokesperson.

Cornershop will be responding to this complaint but won’t be deterred in bringing grocery delivery to more customers in the US.”

That’s Uber’s diplomatic way of saying, “bring it on.”

What will become of this lawsuit? Unless something unexpected happens that makes Instacart withdraw its claims, it will likely drag on in court. Moreover, with the Covid-19 context, trials have slowed even further.

If anything, Instacart’s lawsuit will be anything but instant. 

The question is, will it be obstructive enough to delay Uber from acquiring Cornershop?

If it’s already a fait accompli (and Uber just hasn’t announced it) then maybe not.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Chile!


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