Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Monday gave its nod for a proposed deal involving SoftBank Group entity purchasing a stake in food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy. SVF II Songbird (DE) LLC would acquire certain shareholding percentage in Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd, according to a notice filed with the regulator.
SVF belongs to the SoftBank Group and is a newly incorporated entity set up to make mid to long-term financial investments in companies. Bundl is a private limited company incorporated in India and is engaged in operating Swiggy, as per the notice.
The deal is likely to peg the valuation of Swiggy at USD 5 billion, a soure had said in April. In a tweet on Monday, CCI said it has approved the "proposed acquisition of certain stake in Bundl Technologies (Swiggy) by SVF II Songbird (SoftBank Group entity)".
Earlier on Monday, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said it has filed additional information with the fair trade regulator CCI alleging "anti-competitive practices" by Zomato and Swiggy. On July 5, the association had said that keeping the interest of restaurants in mind and how they have been affected by the "inherently anti-competitive practices" of Zomato and Swiggy, it had on July 1 filed information with the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
In the additional information NRAI has filed, it has alleged that Zomato and Swiggy are charging a commission in the range of 25 to 35 percent of the order value in 2020-21 and there have been numerous instances of delay in payment by the two aggregators which have affected the entire cash flow of its partners. "Zomato & Swiggy are forcing restaurant partners to give discounts on their platforms to maintain good visibility on the platform. They have shifted the entire cost burden on the restaurants," it added.
The aggregators are threatening to delist the restaurants if they do maintain price parity. There have been instances wherein some partners have been delisted from the platform since they offered some better rates to consumers on other channels, NRAI said. "We are committed to the cause of our partners, and we will put our best efforts with the CCI to ensure that the practices of these marketplace platforms are aligned to the benefit of the entire F&B industry," NRAI President Anurag Katriar said.
E-mails sent to Zomato and Swiggy seeking comments on the matter did not elicit any immediate response.
(Edited by : Jerome Anthony)