NEW DELHI: Food delivery company Zomato on Tuesday said that it intends to “promptly comply” with the recommendations of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) a day after the antitrust watchdog ordered a probe against alleged anti-competitive practices by Zomato and its rival Swiggy.
“In their order, the Hon’ble Commission has mentioned that it has prima facie not found concerns with respect to our independence on levy of commissions or alleged bundling of services, while it would want to investigate aspects such as preferential listing of restaurant partners and pricing parity across platforms, etc,” Zomato said in a regulatory filing.
The order to investigate the alleged malpractices comes against the backdrop of complaints made by the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), which welcomed the CCI’s move.
“In the absence of a sustainable solution, NRAI filed information with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on 1st July, 2021 highlighting the concerns and issues related to the functioning of food aggregator platforms which should ideally operate as a neutral marketplace,” the NRAI said in a statement. “NRAI looks forward to a positive outcome of this investigation which will pave way towards providing a level playing field for all stakeholders in the ecosystem.”
In its complaints, the NRAI accused Swiggy and Zomato of masking consumer data apart from charging exorbitant commissions from restaurant partners. In addition, it alleged that the two players with a combined market share of 95%, indulge in deep discounting, use their own cloud kitchens to churn out “private labels” and use biased listing to promote preferred restaurants and brands on their platforms.
Both Swiggy and Zomato had earlier refuted most of the allegations, showed the 32-page CCI order, which TOI had reviewed.
“We will continue to work closely with the Hon’ble Commission to assist them with their investigation and explain to the regulator why all of our practices are in compliance with competition laws and do not have any adverse effect on competition in India,” said Zomato on Tuesday.
The anticompetitive probe against the food delivery giant comes in the aftermath of a furious social media backlash against the company’s intentions to start delivering food in 10 minutes.