Wolt, a popular food delivery service, has found itself in hot water with the Israel Competition Authority. According to the regulatory body, Wolt’s application violated competition law by promoting specific restaurants on its main page that worked exclusively with the delivery service. This practice was deemed to be a “threat to competition and is against the law” by the Israel Competition Authority due to the limited competitive restraints under which Wolt operated during the relevant period. As a result of this violation, Wolt has agreed to pay a fine of NIS 8.5 million (approximately $2.3 million).
The controversy stems from a section of Wolt’s application called “Only on Wolt,” which highlighted restaurants in the Tel Aviv area that exclusively worked with the delivery service. This section was removed following the request of the Israel Competition Authority, and an agreement was reached in which Wolt admitted that its actions could have harmed competition and violated the law. Wolt has emphasized that this section has not existed in the application for about a year and that there is no allegation of harm caused to the public or actual competition.
It is important to note that when Wolt first launched its operations in Israel in 2019, the app included restaurants from which deliveries could only be received through Wolt. This was mainly because these restaurants did not offer online deliveries to consumers before Wolt’s arrival. Wolt saw the “Only on Wolt” section as a legitimate way to promote these restaurants at the beginning of its operations in Israel.
The Israel Competition Authority’s actions against Wolt serve as a reminder that companies must comply with competition laws and regulations. It is crucial that companies in the food delivery sector do not engage in anti-competitive practices that could harm competition and limit consumer choice.