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    Swiggy Files Petition Against India’s Competition Regulator’s Order to Share Confidential Info with Restaurant Association

    Swiggy has petitioned the Karnataka High Court against the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) order to give the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) access to an investigation report containing confidential information on its business practices, Bar and Bench reported. The food delivery app stated that such an order to provide the NRAI with sensitive information was “arbitrary” and could harm its business.

    The confidential report, conducted by the CCI’s Director General (DG), contained detailed information collected by the CCI to investigate Swiggy (along with Zomato) for anti-competitive practices. The probe was brought on by the investigation ordered by the CCI into Zomato and Swiggy, based on a complaint filed by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI).

    Reportedly, all three parties—Swiggy, Zomato, and the NRAI—filed applications for access to the DG’s confidential findings. On April 24, the CCI ordered that the NRAI could access the report. However, the NRAI would need to provide an undertaking that it would not share the information and would destroy it once the CCI proceedings were over.

    Swiggy’s plea argued that allowing the NRAI to access Swiggy’s information would violate the CCI’s obligation to preserve confidential information under Section 57 of the Competition Act, 2002 and Regulation 35 of the Competition Commission of India (General) Regulations, 2009, according to the Bar and Bench report.

    The hearing is set on May 23 to determine if Karnataka, the location of Swiggy’s headquarters, is the adequate jurisdiction for this case over the CCI’s headquarters in Delhi.

    The CCI investigation into Swiggy and Zomato

    In April 2022, based on a complaint filed by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the Competition Commission of India said, “there exists a prima facie case with respect to some of the conduct of Zomato and Swiggy, which requires an investigation.”

    The complaint alleged that Swiggy and Zomato engaged in anticompetitive practices like bundling of services, data masking, exorbitant commissions, deep discounting, and violation of platform neutrality.

    Based on these allegations, the CCI ruled that its Director General conduct a detailed investigation into:

    1. Data masking and lack of platform neutrality
      The NRAI accused Swiggy and Zomato of being anti-competitive by not providing restaurant partners with data about the end consumers despite being held accountable when something goes wrong with the order. Additionally,  they accused the food delivery apps of using collected data to create private labels and benefit themselves and of favouring their own cloud kitchens on their platforms. The CCI said that it would investigate this, as it could affect platform neutrality due to potential conflict of interest caused by “the presence of commercial interest in the downstream market.”
    2. Exclusive listing
      NRAI alleged that Swiggy and Zomato often demand restaurants to commit exclusively to be listed on their respective platform by providing incentives, lower commissions etc., which creates barriers of entry for competitors. The CCI stated that it would consider these allegations while assessing platform neutrality.
    3. Price parity terms
      The NRAI also alleged that Swiggy and Zomato prevented them from charging lower prices or providing better terms on their website or offline shop, as well as through other online food aggregator platforms. The CCI called for investigations into these alleged wide restrictions as they could discourage platforms from competing on commissions.

    Also Read:

    The post Swiggy Files Petition Against India’s Competition Regulator’s Order to Share Confidential Info with Restaurant Association appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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