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Julie Jacobson / AP

Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta was overwhelmed with condolences after Amazon announced in June that it was buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion—conventional wisdom was that his grocery-delivery business had more to lose than anyone from the merger.

  • But he tells Forbes that he felt nothing but vindication, as he had been telling grocers for years that "they should prepare for an all-out assault from Amazon."
  • "Every major grocery retailer in the country was calling us," to discuss how they could partner to meet this threat, he says.

Why it matters: Teaming up with Instacart is a means for Amazon competitors to offer grocery delivery at prices comparable to what Amazon offers.

  • Since, June Costco, Kroger, and Aldi all announced new partnerships, with Costco leveraging the partnership to offering same-day delivery in some markets.

Why Instacart matters: Few businesses have the deep pockets of Amazon, but Instacart is not without resources of its own. Forbes estimates that Instacart brings in $2 billion in revenue annually, and that the firm serves half a million customers.Instacart is backed by powerful venture capital players, raising $675 million from Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital, among others, while it has half a billion dollars in the bank.A wrinkle in the plot: Whole Foods was, prior to the merger, one of Instacart's most important partners. It's an Instacart investor and accounted for 10% of the firm's revenue.The Amazon deal, however, doesn't void an exclusive 5-year deal signed in 2016 making Instacart the exclusive deliverer of perishables, Recode reports. That the deal is only in year two buys Instacart some time to replace the revenue it will presumably lose as a result of the Amazon takeover.

Go deeper

Updated 10 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

11 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.