The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against online food aggregators Zomato and Swiggy over alleged anti-competitive practices.
Keeping the interest of restaurants in India in mind and how they have been affected by the inherently anti-competitive practices of Zomato and Swiggy, the NRAI on July 1 filed an information with the CCI highlighting the following practices by Zomato and Swiggy, which have an appreciable adverse effect on competition, – the industry body said in a statement on Monday.
According to the NRAI, the anti-competitive actions of the aggregators include bundling of services, data masking, exorbitant commission charges, price parity agreements, and deep discounting, which forces the restaurant partners to give discounts to maintain an appropriate listing, exclusivity of listed restaurants, and violation of platform neutrality, vertical integration along with lack of transparency on the platform.
Anurag Katriar, President, NRAI, said: “We have been in constant dialogue with the foodservice aggregators over the last 15-18 months to resolve some critical issues impacting the sector. However, despite all our efforts, we have unfortunately not been able to resolve them with the aggregators.”
Saying that the needle hasn’t moved much on these issues, he added: “We have therefore approached the CCI now to look into the matter and investigate them thoroughly.”
The NRAI President added that the industry body is committed to the cause of its partners, and will put its best efforts with the CCI to ensure that the practices of these marketplace platforms are aligned to the benefit of the entire food and beverages industry.
The statement noted that since 2018, restaurants have been facing numerous issues in their dealing with the marketplace platforms, Swiggy and Zomato.
When these marketplace platforms started, they had certain advantages. However, over a period, their business practices started hurting the F&B industry massively, it said.