A Lieferando driver in Berlin
Photo: Michael Kappeler / DPA
The catering delivery platform Lieferando apparently operates a network of so-called shadow websites.
Research by Bayerischer Rundfunk shows this.
These are websites that suggest that they belong to restaurants that are registered with the platform - but they were actually set up by Lieferando.
Accordingly, the Dutch parent company "Just Eat Takeaway" has created a network of 120,000 domains throughout Europe - 50,000 of them in Germany.
Many of the restaurateurs did not know that Lieferando had copied or created a website, reports the BR, even if there is a paragraph in the general terms and conditions (GTC).
Specifically, we are talking about the “Jack Glockenbach” restaurant in the center of Munich.
According to the report, Lieferando had created a website with a URL similar to that of the restaurant.
Anyone looking for it using a search engine will first come across the website set up by Lieferando, from which the user is redirected to the Lieferando homepage.
The operator of the restaurant criticized that Lieferando had "pushed itself to the fore in this way."
At the request of the BR, Lieferando pointed out that these websites were a service for the restaurants.
The creation of the pages is "contractually regulated" and would generate "additional sales for our small restaurant partners."
Will Lieferando gain a competitive advantage?
However, it is also possible that Lieferando in particular will benefit from the system.
Restaurants have to assign around 13 percent commission to the group when ordering via the platform.
The shadow websites increase the likelihood that the customer will order via Lieferando - and not directly from the restaurant.
In the latter case, Lieferando would not receive any commission.
The expert for antitrust law and professor for civil law, Rupprecht Podszun from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, describes the shadow websites in the BR as a problem for the catering industry.
According to the antitrust lawyer, Lieferando is pushing its way between the customer and the restaurant.
The restaurants would lose direct access to the customer: "I consider the way in which this is done to be unfair and certainly worth checking out legally."
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