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E-commerce firm Shopee admitted to violating competition law, agreed to adjust its practices, Indonesia says

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BRAZIL – 2022/03/22: In this photo illustration, a woman’s silhouette holds a smartphone with a Shopee logo in the background. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Rafael Henrique | Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Shopee and its courier service Shopee Express admitted to breaching a competition rule in Indonesia and has agreed to adjust its current practices, the country’s watchdog said on Wednesday.

Shopee is the e-commerce arm of Southeast Asian tech giant Sea Limited.

“Shopee and Shopee Express admitted that they had violated Law no. 5 of 1999, regarding delivery (courier) services on the Shopee platform by agreeing to various behavioral change points determined by the KPPU Council in the hearing yesterday,” Indonesia Competition Commission Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha said in a Google-translated statement.

KPPU said Shopee proposed adjustments to its current practices on June 20 which were approved by the commission council.

“Shopee Indonesia attended a meeting with KPPU on 25 June to discuss points of the integrity pact that was shared by KPPU last week. On 20 June, Shopee proposed changes to our user interface to enhance our services and demonstrate our compliance in providing the best services to our users, in accordance with the feedback provided and approved by the KPPU,” Radynal Nataprawira, head of public affairs at Shopee Indonesia, told CNBC in emailed comments.

“Shopee is always committed to complying with all applicable regulations and laws in the Republic of Indonesia in conducting our business operations,” said Nataprawira.

Last month, KPPU revealed its preliminary investigation found that Shopee allegedly prioritized Shopee Express in every package delivery to consumers.

The watchdog also accused Shopee of “discriminatory behavior,” saying Shopee Express and another delivery service J&T Express were “automatically activated en masse on the seller dashboard” while other companies that also have good service performance did not get selected automatically.

KPPU investigators also named an employee who held director positions in both Shopee Indonesia and Shopee Express, saying this “dual position” has the ability to influence competition and control the behavior of both companies.

KPPU is also probing Shopee rival Lazada, the Southeast Asian e-commerce arm of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, saying it has found indications of similar violations.

“If it is later proven to have violated, Lazada can be subject to a fine of a maximum of 50% of the net profit or 10% of the total sales it earned in the relevant market during the period of the violation,” KPPU said in a statement last month.

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