Food delivery monopoly under probe

The lucrative restaurant food delivery business in the country has allegedly become the monopoly of two companies, who between them are said to be raking in more than KD4 million annually from their operations.

Following complaints from other food delivery companies, the Competition Protection Authority (CPA), urged the two companies to rectify the situation and pay a fine equal to what they earned through their monopoly of the business. But the two refused to adhere with the dictate and will now have to pay double the fine.

During the investigation, it also came to light that the two companies were employing domestic helpers holding Article 20 residence visas, which is in violation of existing residency laws.

The investigations, which revealed the monopolistic trade practices of the two companies, show that they signed food-delivery contracts with many restaurants in 2017 and then used these contracts to force the restaurant owners not to entertain any other delivery services. In 2018, when it came time to renew the contract, the two companies informed all restaurants that they would charge them an extra 2 percent if they signed contracts with other delivery services.