On Friday, the Competition Commission of India told the Delhi High court, that Google’s writ about the alleged disclosure of sensitive investigation material was completely wrong and an attempt to stymie its Android smartphone deals.
CCI’s Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman claimed that the commission was committed to upholding the legal duty of maintaining the secrecy and that there had been no failure on the side of the body.
There are allegations against a government agency, but no evidence (in Google’s affidavit) of when or how it was done, nor even have seen the leaked document. They’re attempting to sabotage the proceedings. He advised them to launch a lawsuit against (the media) if they were wronged.
They want the process to be delayed, according to ASG Venkataraman, who also informed the court that one of Google’s executives wrote to the CCI Chairperson, threatening to sue them.
Justice Rekha Palli stated that she did not appreciate the tech behemoth directly approaching the high authority.
They must know the law in order to operate in the country. “I don’t appreciate this… If he felt so strongly, he should have addressed the letter to the registrar (of CCI)”, the judge stated.
Representing Google on the other side, senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, emphasized that the allegedly leaked material was solely in the custody of the Director-General, who then passed it on to CCI, and that no one else, including the parties, had access to it. He said, “Please see the habitual defaulter. Everyday leakage is happening… Give a dog a bad name and hang him by selective leakage”, requesting that the court issue an injunction shielding his client from future harm.
He claimed that the CCI judgment on Google’s appeal of the DG order on its secrecy claim was issued without regard for natural justice standards.
“Let them say till Monday they will not allow further leak, ” said the senior counsel.
Don’t put words in his mouth. You don’t give me the DG order (in relation to the confidentiality claim and) today you want an order from me,” said the judge and scheduled the date September 27 for the next hearing. A secret interim fact-finding report filed by the DG’s office to CCI pertaining to an inquiry into Google’s Android smartphone agreements was leaked to the media on September 18, 2021, according to Google.
The business stated that it has filed a petition in court seeking satisfaction of its grievance, especially challenging the breach of confidence that has harmed Google and its partners’ capacity to defend themselves.
According to sources, the CCI investigation discovered Google misusing its dominating position and engaging in unfair activities with regard to the Android mobile operating system. The antitrust authority requested a comprehensive investigation against Google in early 2019 after prima-facie discovering suspected violations of competition standards.
Before issuing an order, the CCI would thoroughly examine the investigation report and solicit the opinions and comments of all parties involved.