The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has launched an investigation into the virtual kitchens and online food delivery sectors.
The investigation will also look into the use of exclusive agreements and refusal of service by players to block competition.
In a reply to The Business Times (BT) query, CCCS has said that the investigation will focus on two types of conduct.
The first is related to agreements that prohibit food and beverage (F&B) leaseholders of virtual kitchens to use their competitor’s online food delivery service.
The second looks into the refusal to supply online food delivery service to F&B tenants of virtual kitchens either run or owned by competitors.
The publication quoted CCCS as saying: “Third-party feedback indicated that it is important for F&B businesses to have access to multiple online food delivery services in order to reach a wider consumer base.”
In July, virtual kitchen operator Smart City Kitchens (SCK) lodged a complaint with the Singapore competition regulator that GrabFood and Deliveroo cancelled the current food delivery services for restaurants that use SCK’s Tampines located shared kitchen.
Deliveroo, however, stated that it did not prohibit any restaurant partner to work with SCK and is currently in talks with SCK.
GrabFood explained that the location of SCK’s kitchen was not optimal due to which it was removed from the platform.
The vendors who use SCK’s kitchen are listed on foodpanda.