The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) said it has actively engaged with relevant stakeholders to obtain further information, following the recent public outcry on issues relating to the services of food delivery platform companies, the imposition of exorbitant commission fees by such companies, and the price of food and beverages on these platforms.

MyCC said it is also closely monitoring and assessing the situation as to whether the conduct(s) of certain food delivery platform companies is in contravention of the Competition Act 2010 or not.

“The MyCC, along with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) have met with relevant parties including the food and beverages (F&B) and retail industry players to understand the issues raised by them. Based on the series of meetings held, we have identified several concerns and challenges in the industry, in relation to not only competition, but also consumerism. The way forward for us is to actively engage with the food delivery platform providers,” MyCC Chief Executive Officer Iskandar Ismail said.

“In this regard, MyCC is seriously looking into every angle from the perspective of the Competition Act 2010, particularly on the conduct of these food delivery platform companies towards F&B industry players, riders and consumers and whether it raises any competition concern,” he added.

The competition watchdog did not name any food delivery platforms but popular food delivery platforms in Malaysia include Foodpanda and GrabFood. Besides food delivery, both Foodpanda and Grab also offer grocery delivery services.

Foodpanda, a brand under Germany-headquartered multinational online food-delivery Delivery Hero, has a presence in Thailand, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Romania, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Japan.

Singapore-headquartered Grab offers food delivery services in Malaysia through its superapp. Besides Malaysia, Grab also offers food delivery services in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, among others.

Budget carrier AirAsia has also launched food delivery services AirAsia Food in May last year. The group said in a statement in November 2020 that it realized that food delivery platforms were “charging exorbitant commission rates averaging between 20% and 35%”, with “very little control” given to the merchants over their own store when it comes to food deliveries.

MyCC’s move also came after local media The Star highlighted last month that some restaurants have urged customers to bypass food delivery platforms and order food directly from their outlets instead of delivery services which take a big cut. Some platforms were said to be taking up 35 percent from each order, according to the news report.

Iskandar further said that all options are being considered in approaching these issues, including invoking the enforcement powers under the Competition Act 2010 and working closely with KPDNHEP to attain comprehensive solutions to all issues raised by the relevant industry players.

Section 4 and Section 10 of the Competition Act 2010 clearly prohibits enterprises from entering into any anti-competitive agreement and abusing their dominant position in the market, respectively.

MyCC said action can also be taken against a group of major players which abuse their dominant positions collectively. Consumers and businesses can channel their complaint(s) related to the misconduct of the p-hailing services by lodging the complaints via MyCC website or address its complaints to [email protected].

Grab has yet to respond to TechNode Global’s query at press time while Foodpanda declined to comment.

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