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NY settles online-food-order companies merger case

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office has reached a settlement with Seamless North America and GrubHub, the two leading online food-ordering services in Manhattan meant to ensure rivals can compete after their proposed merger.

State investigators say Seamless has exclusive agreements with several Manhattan-based restaurants that would, if enforced, prevent them from contracting with competing online food ordering services.

The settlement announced Monday requires the new combined company to notify all Manhattan restaurants within 45 days of the merger that Seamless is waiving its exclusivity provision.

It prohibits future exclusive restaurant contracts for 18 months.

Also, if the merged company enters into a business relationship with online review site Yelp Inc. in the next 18 months it won't force Yelp to stop doing business with its competitors.