Delhi High Court rejects WhatsApp, Facebook appeals against CCI probe

The Bench tells them to approach Competition Commission of India for any relief.

August 25, 2022 10:59 am | Updated 11:53 am IST - New Delhi

3D printed Facebook and WhatsApp logos. Representational image.

3D printed Facebook and WhatsApp logos. Representational image. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Delhi High Court on Thursday, August 25, 2022, rejected appeals by WhatsApp and Facebook against the decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) calling for an investigation into the instant messaging app’s 2021 updated privacy policy.

Refusing to stay the probe by the anti-trust regulator, a Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad told the counsel for WhatsApp to approach the CCI for any relief in connection with the matter.

Also read: Comment | What next on data protection?

Both WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook, now called Meta, had challenged a single-judge bench order dismissing their pleas against the probe ordered by CCI into WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

In January last year, the CCI on its own had decided to look into WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy based on news reports regarding the same.

The CCI had said it was dealing with the instant messaging app’s new privacy policy that could lead to “excessive data collection” of consumers, the use and sharing of the data in an anti-competitive context.

The CCI had said that the probe order was made to gauge whether access to data would lead to abuse of dominant position. It was not concerned with the privacy aspect of the issue as the Supreme Court was already seized of it, it had stated.

WhatsApp had argued that CCI cannot probe a policy that has now been kept in abeyance to await the fate of the Data Protection Bill and as well as the decision of the Supreme Court and the high court on issues concerning the legality of the privacy policy.

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