In a significant development for the digital restaurant platform industry in Chile, the Chilean Competition Court (TDLC) has given the green light to commitments made by food delivery giants Uber Eats, PedidosYa, and Rappi. The agreements, reached in collaboration with the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE), address concerns raised during an investigation into the prevalence of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clauses in contracts and terms of service between these platforms and restaurants.
The investigation, conducted by the Antimonopoly Division of the FNE, brought to light the widespread use of MFN clauses, also known as price parity clauses. These clauses limited the freedom of restaurants to independently set prices for their products across various distribution channels. Particularly, these restrictions prevented restaurants from offering lower prices on competing platforms or within their own channels.
In response to the findings, Uber Eats, PedidosYa (controlled by Delivery Hero SE), and Rappi committed to removing or modifying all versions of MFN clauses, including narrow, wide, and APPA variations. Additionally, the platforms vowed to eliminate other restrictive clauses or commercial conditions that hindered restaurants from offering products at lower prices on alternative platforms or within their own distribution channels. Importantly, the commitments extend to refraining from including such clauses in future contracts and informing restaurants of their freedom to autonomously set prices.
The approved commitments also introduce a reporting obligation on the scope of exclusivity and semi-exclusivity clauses. While the investigation revealed a limited presence of these clauses, the FNE recognized their potential to create anti-competitive effects if their proliferation was observed. Despite Uber Eats not committing to this obligation, the FNE expressed its dedication to utilizing legal tools to enforce competition laws in the market.
These commitments, designed to enhance competition in the digital restaurant platform market, will remain in force indefinitely. However, a review is scheduled after an initial three-year period to assess their effectiveness and make any necessary adjustments.
In its decision, the TDLC acknowledged that the agreements effectively safeguard competition in the market for digital restaurant platforms. The court deemed the commitments appropriate and proportionate to the results of the investigation, reflecting a balance between market dynamics and ensuring fair competition.
National Economic Prosecutor Jorge Grunberg applauded the TDLC’s decision, emphasizing that the approved commitments make the market for digital platforms catering to the purchase and delivery of restaurant products more competitive. Grunberg highlighted the efficient resolution of anticompetitive risks associated with MFN clauses and affirmed the commitment to using all available legal powers to defend and promote competition in this vital market.
The TDLC’s approval of these commitments marks a crucial step toward fostering a more competitive and fair environment within Chile’s digital restaurant platform industry, ensuring benefits for both consumers and businesses alike.