Did not leak any information on Google probe, Competition Commission of India tells HC

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it did not leak any information to the media relating to an investigation into Google’s Android smartphone agreements.

Taking note of the CCI’s submissions, Justice Rekha Palli closed a petition filed by the search engine giant alleging leak of “confidential report” pertaining to the investigation against it.

Justice Palli also clarified that “this court has not expressed any opinion on the claims made by the petitioner [Google] that it is respondent 1 [CCI] which is responsible for the said leaks”. The judge said if Google has any further grievance that the information was being leaked it will be open for it to take legal recourse available.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General N. Venkataraman, representing the CCI, said the assumption of leak was wrong. Mr. Venkataraman said, “CCI was willing to maintain confidentiality...”.

“It is Google’s 23rd birthday today. We greet them through their counsel and wish them all the best,” Mr. Venkataraman said.

Google’s counsel said in case the CCI is bound by its statement, the grievance stands addressed.

Last week, the CCI had told the High Court that Google’s plea against the alleged leak of confidential probe information was wholly misplaced and an attempt to frustrate the proceedings related to its Android smartphone agreements.

It had said the Commission stood by the legal obligation with respect to maintenance of confidentiality and clarified that there was no lapse on the part of the body.

Earlier, Google, in a statement, had said it aims to prevent any further unlawful disclosures of confidential findings by the CCI investigative arm. “On September 18, 2021, a confidential interim fact-finding report submitted by the Director General’s office to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) relating to an ongoing investigation into Google’s Android smartphone agreements was leaked to the media,” the company had said.

It noted that 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, it said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 8:34:45 PM |

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