The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has summoned food aggregators including Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda and Uber Eats over restaurants complaint of them engaging in deep discounting. The dispute between restaurants and food aggregators has been going one for almost a year.
DPIIT has called meeting to resolve offline restaurant concerns, which is quite similar to what offline retailers had with e-tailers, said an official aware of the development.
The meeting will be attended by food aggregators and restaurant associations, including the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India and National Restaurant Association of India. It will be chaired by DPIIT secretary, Ramesh Abhishek.
Govt will try to address the restaurants issues through mutual discussion and find equal growth opportunity for the industry, said official to ET.
Commerce and industry minister, Piyush Goyal, had earlier warned e-comm firms, in almost similar cases, to avoid hurting small businesses through their predatory pricing practices. Goyal had categorically said that the government will not allow small retailers and kirana shops to be wiped out.
The restaurant associations have time and again complained against food aggregators harming their business through making consumers discount addicts.
Two months ago, restaurants had complained, about the impact of deep discounting offered by food aggregators, on their business. Through predatory pricing food aggregators are forcing restaurants to drop prices, restaurants said.
Food aggregators have also indulged in running their own private labels, who are eating away their businesses and using consumer behaviour data to consolidate their business, they added.
In January, over five hundreds of restaurants had complained to the CCI.
Meanwhile, Food aggregators continue to burn huge amounts of cash to acquire more consumers and market share.