Google files plea against CCI over leaked report

  • Google has said that the “unlawful disclosure” of the Director General’s Report and CCI’s failure to preserve confidentiality damages its reputation, is prejudicial and renders its rights of defense and due process redundant in proceedings before the CCI and the DG”.

PUBLISHED ON SEP 24, 2021 04:49 AM IST

Internet giant Google on Thursday moved the Delhi high court, saying that the alleged leak of information to media relating to an ongoing investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into its Android smart phone agreements, violates its “freedom of trade” and “severely affects their right to conduct business.

Google has said that the “unlawful disclosure” of the Director General’s Report and CCI’s failure to preserve confidentiality damages its reputation, is prejudicial and renders its rights of defense and due process redundant in proceedings before the CCI and the DG”.

“Disclosure of any of this information has the potential to have an adverse impact on the Petitioners’ ability to conduct business because its competitors will get unfair access to competitively sensitive information that allows them to alter their strategies and draw business away from the petitioners (Google),” its plea said seeking an independent enquiry in the leaks.

The matter was urgently mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh which listed the case for Friday.

It has said that there is “abject failure” on the part of CCI in safeguarding their confidential information provided to it during the investigation which included business sensitive information like revenue figures, payments made to partners, key agreements with partner OEMs, market shares, etc.

The petition has said that the “press was able to unlawfully access the confidential version of the Director General Report” even when they had not received a copy of the document.

While seeking that CCI issues a press statement, Google has sought an ex-parte injunction directing CCI to ensure that there is no further publication of any part of the DG report available with the media outlets.

The plea has sought that CCI writes to all media outlets or others that claim to have a copy of the DG Report or have reported on it requesting them to return all copies and materials in relation to the case to confirm to CCI that they have destroyed all written or electronic copies.

“The unlawful disclosure of the confidential Director General (DG)’s Report to the press is in complete violation of Respondent No. 1 ‘s (CCI’s) duty to preserve confidentiality and fairly regulate access to case records. CCI has entirely abdicated its statutory duty to protect confidential information of not just the parties to the case, but its internal case records.

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