Delhi HC dismisses WhatsApp, Facebook’s plea against CCI probe – Times of India

New Delhi: Division Bench Delhi High Court dismissed the petitions of WhatsApp And Facebook Challenging the order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to examine the new privacy policy of the messaging app.
Dismissing both the appeals filed by WhatsApp and Facebook, a division bench of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramaniam Prasad on Thursday refused to extend the stay granted by the CCI on the notice issued to the messaging app.
The bench said that the appeal has no merit. The bench had reserved the order on July 25, 2022, after completion of the arguments of all the parties.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Facebook Inc, said that because Facebook is the formal owner of WhatsApp and the platform is said to share its data with Facebook (parent company), it does not mean that it is a subject for investigation. necessary party. while in opposition to CCI investigation Against Facebook, Rohatgi further argued that there is no prima facie material available with the CCI to examine it while examining the new privacy policy of WhatsApp.
The division bench was hearing petitions challenging the single bench of WhatsApp and Facebook, which had dismissed the petitions of Facebook and WhatsApp.
However, the Additional Solicitor General appeared for the CCI and submitted that his jurisdiction to examine the new privacy policy of WhatsApp is not closed as the policy in question has neither been withdrawn nor stayed by any court or any judicial forum. has gone. Earlier, CCI’s counsel had said that we are not able to proceed with the investigation at present because the court is investigating the matter.
Earlier in the hearing, the bench said that data protection bill Not yet finalized by the respondents/Centre, while WhatsApp and Facebook have been given time to file their response to the notice issued to them by the CCI and several details have been sought from them.
The court also extended the interim order given earlier by the court to the appellant.
Facebook and WhatsApp had approached the division bench through an appeal-challenged single-judge bench order dismissing their petitions against the CCI’s decision.
On April 22, 2021, a single bench of the Delhi High Court dismissed the petitions of Facebook and WhatsApp challenging the CCI’s order to examine the new privacy policy of the messaging app. The petitioners had challenged the March 24 order passed by the CCI which had directed a probe into the new privacy policy and the investigation should be completed within 60 days.
Facebook and WhatsApp said that since the issue of privacy policy of WhatsApp is being heard by the Supreme Court and the High Court, there is no need for the CCI to order an inquiry.
Senior advocate Harish Salve and former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the petitioners, told the court that the proceedings of the CCI should be kept in abeyance as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court and the High Court.
The Additional Solicitor General (ASG), representing the CCI in the matter, had earlier told the court that the matter was not about confidentiality but of access to data and competition was dealing with metadata.

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