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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

Scoop: Biden weighs retired general Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star general Lloyd Austin as his nominee for Defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
1 hour ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.