Competition Commission of India (CCI): The coram comprising of Ashok Kumar Gupta (Chairperson) and Sangeeta Verma, Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, (Members) dismissed the complaint against Swiggy which accused it of unfair pricing.
Swiggy provides an online platform to the customers for ordering food from a wide range of neighbourhood partner restaurants listed on its platform.
The Swiggy app/ website page shows a whole list of restaurants to order from and once the restaurant is selected and order placed, the restaurant which has its own Swiggy application receives the order details and starts preparing the order.
Informants submit that, Swiggy typically charges a commission on the total order bill amount (which is inclusive of GST) from the partner restaurant. On the other hand, Swiggy charges delivery fee from the customer which generally ranges from Rs. 20- 100.
At times, Swiggy also charges more based on a surge in delivery prices in times of high demand, rains, special occasions and midnight delivery.
Swiggy through its website/app charges higher than the rate offered by respective restaurants in their outlets over and above the delivery charges.
Informants submitted bills of restaurant and screenshot of Swiggy website to indicate the difference in prices of same dishes being ordered at the restaurant and from the Swiggy platform.
Thus, in view of the above, informants have alleged that the OP is acting in contravention of Section 4(2)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 by imposing unfair price.
Submissions by Swiggy
Swiggy submitted its response on the stated information in public and confidential version.
Swiggy added to its submissions that it only operates as an intermediary and the prices displayed on the platform are directly uploaded by the restaurants and the decision with regard to the prices solely depends on the restaurants.
Swiggy averred that as and when it receives complaints from buyers who find discrepancies between the prices listed on the Platform and the Partners’ menus, the same are escalated to the Partners for action as Swiggy cannot control, alter or affect the prices of items listed on its Platform.
With respect to dominance, Swiggy has claimed that it is not dominant in the relevant market and Zomato is its nearest competitor.
Commission notes that Swiggy has denied the allegations with reference to the contractual agreement it has entered into with its Partners (restaurants) seeking them to maintain a uniform price of food items sold by such Partners to customers when dealing with them directly or through the platform of Swiggy.
Thus, the above indicates that the allegations against Swiggy do not appear to be substantiated.
Hence, satisfied with the averments placed by Swiggy that it has no role to play in the pricing of the products offered by the restaurants on the platform, Commission finds no prima facie case of contravention of provisions of Section 4 of the Act. [Prachi Agarwal v. Swiggy, 2020 SCC OnLine CCI 22 , decided on 19-06-2020]