The Competition Commission (“Commission“) is probing into potential anti-competitive conduct in the online food delivery platform and car repair / maintenance markets.
Investigation into Foodpanda and Deliveroo
The focus of the Commission’s investigation of two online delivery platforms, namely Foodpanda and Deliveroo, is to ascertain whether they have contravened the Competition Ordinance (Cap 619) by imposing certain contractual requirements on their partner restaurants. According to the Commission’s press release published on 27 January 2022, these include requiring exclusivity arrangements with partner restaurants, requiring partner restaurants to offer their menu items on the delivery platform at prices that are equal to or lower than those offered on the restaurants’ own menu and on other online delivery platforms, as well as requiring partner restaurants that wish to procure online food delivery services to also procure pick up or other services from the delivery platform.
Investigation into passenger car warranty terms and conditions
On 3 March 2022, the Commission invited passenger car owners, independent car repair workshops and other interested parties to provide information and share their views on restrictive passenger car warranty terms and conditions via an online questionnaire.
According to the latest issue of the Commission’s e-newsletter, the Commission is looking specifically into whether agreements between certain manufacturers of passenger cars and their distributors in Hong Kong mandate the use of restrictive warranty terms and conditions upon passenger car owners under which the continued validity of passenger car warranties is conditional upon the exclusive performance of maintenance and/or repair services at authorised repair centres, regardless of whether the maintenance or repair item is covered by the warranty.
The Commission considers that both the above requirements by Foodpanda and Deliveroo and the warranty terms and conditions by car manufacturers and distributors may lessen competition in their respective markets, hinder entry and expansion by new or smaller market competitors, and ultimately lead to fewer choices of and higher prices for online food delivery and car maintenance and repair services for consumers.
Both investigations are still ongoing and the Commission stressed that the existence of the investigations does not prejudge their outcome.