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GrubHub, Seamless to join forces

NEW YORK — The rival online takeout services Seamless North America and GrubHub on Monday unveiled plans to merge and create a new company covering more than 20,000 restaurants in 500 US cities.

Financial terms were not disclosed, and it’s unclear what the combined company will be called. GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney will be the chief executive, while Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky will serve as president, the companies said in a joint statement.

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Brian McAndrews, an independent director on the Seamless board, will be chairman. Both New York-based Seamless and Chicago-based GrubHub will have significant representation on the new company’s board.

The combined company’s name and marketing brands will be determined following regulatory approval, the companies said.

Online takeout ordering services work by contracting with restaurants, mostly in large metropolitan areas, to list themselves on the websites. Diners can search the menus, along with reviews posted by diners, to find the food they want and then order and pay online. In addition to websites, both companies offer smartphone apps that are geared toward diners on the go.

The services appeal to diners by eliminating the need for a kitchen drawer of takeout menus, while helping them to discover new pickup and delivery options in their neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, restaurants can benefit from new business and don’t have to deal with as many phone orders, which can be labor intensive and prone to error.

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