Mar 27, 2019

McDonald's latest acquisition is a game changer

Data: Dealogic; Note: Excludes Wendy's acquisitions of the interests of Wendy's and Wendy's International franchisees in 2005, 2006, 2014 and 2015; Adjusted for inflation; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

McDonald's acquisition of sales assistant software Dynamic Yield to better personalize its menus is the 8th largest U.S. fast food acquisition in history but it's far and away the biggest of its kind.

Be smart: It's a rare instance of a major U.S. fast food company buying something other than another fast food company.

  • Yum Brands is behind the 2 exceptions. In 2018, Yum bought a 3% stake in GrubHub worth about $200 million.
  • Yum's Pizza Hut bought QuikOrder, an online ordering software and service provider for restaurants, late last year. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Why it matters: The fast food industry has made technology a priority, but typically it's expressed that through partnerships. McDonald's has partnered with Uber Eats, for example, and with Dynamic Yield for a test program in Miami.

  • Companies also invest in internal tech development. Domino's has been rewarded by higher sales and a stock price boost for its use of technology to appeal to customers. But Domino's has never acquired anything but other restaurants, FactSet data shows.

Go deeper: The nutrition facts on Trump's McDonald's order

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren supporters form super PAC
  2. We may be on "the brink" of coronavirus pandemic
  3. Pentagon policy chief resigns
  4. National polls show Bernie in control ahead of Nevada
  5. How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors
  6. Sanders and Bloomberg battle over heart health

Trump has declared war on sanctuary cities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Armed with subpoenas, lawsuits and immigration SWAT teams, the Trump administration has declared war on sanctuary cities.

The big picture: President Trump and his administration have used every available tool to try to crack down on local governments that refuse to hold immigrants in criminal custody, block immigration agents from working in county jails or deny federal authorities access to immigrants' records.

Peter Thiel's Founders Fund isn't really Peter Thiel's Founders Fund

Illustration: Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Charles Eshelman, Steve Jennings, and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Founders Fund has raised $3 billion for a pair of new funds, so expect a slew of headlines about how "Peter Thiel's venture capital firm" is now flush with cash.

Behind the scenes: Thiel is essential to Founders Fund, but he's not autocratic. Instead, Axios has learned that he's one of three people with veto power over most FF investments, and is unable to do a deal without approval of the other two.