Google files writ petition against CCI investigation report leak in Delhi High Court

Google files writ petition against CCI investigation report leak in Delhi High Court
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23 Sep, 2021

Technology giant Google has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court protesting against the leak of a fact-finding investigation report by the Director General of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into the company. The report, which was part of a probe ordered by the CCI in a 2019 case against Google, was reported by the Times of India (TOI) and Reuters late last week.

“We are deeply concerned that the Director General’s Report, which contains our confidential information in an ongoing case, was leaked to the media while in the CCI’s custody. Protecting confidential information is fundamental to any governmental investigation, and we are pursuing our legal right to seek redress and prevent any further unlawful disclosures,” the company said in a statement. “We cooperated fully and maintained confidentiality throughout the investigative process, and we hope and expect the same level of confidentiality from the institutions we engage with,” it added.

Further, the company said that it has not yet received a copy of the report. Investigation reports by the Director General of the CCI are confidential and are supposed to be accessible only to the parties in a case and the regulator. “The DG’s findings do not reflect the final decision of the CCI and the submission of the investigation report is an interim procedural step. Google has not yet had the opportunity to review the DG’s findings, much less submit its defence of any allegations,” the company said in its statement.

According to TOI and Reuters’ reports, the investigation found Google guilty of abusing its dominant position in the Indian market with Android. It found Google guilty of stifling competition and innovation not only to maintain its dominance on Android’s Google Play Store, but also with the Chrome browser and Google Search. 

The report said that Google was found to be violating Section 4(2)(a)i, Section 4(2)(b), Section 4(2)(c) and Section 4(2)(d) of India’s Competition Act.