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Thailand to regulate online and food delivery services


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday approved measures to regulate food and online delivery services after customer complaints during the country's coronavirus lockdown, a senior government official said.

Food deliveries surged during the lockdown and in April Thailand's Trade Competition Commission warned that if food delivery platforms increased prices unfairly they could be fined.

"The COVID-19 outbreak has changed consumer behavior and more consumers are using these online services and there were complaints so control (of) prices is necessary," deputy government spokeswoman Ratchada Dhnadirek told reporters.

"There were complaints from consumers of online services about the price of food delivery," she said.

In April, the Office of Trade and Competition Commission secretary-general Somsak Kiatchailak said there had been complaints that food delivery platforms had increased their service fees for restaurants from 20% to rates of up to 40%. He did not name any companies. [nL4N2BP3IB]

The price control comes into force on July 4 and will be reviewed again in one year. The control list aims to prevent operators from setting unfair prices and other conditions.

Ratchada said, for example, that services like those provided by Grab and Kerry would be included on the price control list.

The companies did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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