CCI reportedly found Google guilty of stifling competition and innovation not only to maintain its dominance on Android’s Google Play Store, but also with the Chrome browser and Google Search
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The Indian unit of Google on Thursday filed a writ petition in the Delhi high court against the Competition Commission of India (CCI) after the contents of an adverse investigation report by the country’s competition regulator found their way to the media.
The report by CCI’s director-general, part of a probe ordered by the CCI in a 2019 case against Google, was reported by multiple publications last week.
The reports said the investigation had found Google guilty of abusing its dominant position in India with Android. It found Google guilty of stifling competition and innovation to maintain its dominance over Play Store, as well as the Chrome browser and Google Search. The reports said Google violated Section 4(2)(a)i, Section 4(2)(b), Section 4(2)(c) and Section 4(2)(d) of India’s Competition Act.
“We are deeply concerned that the director general’s (DG’s) report, which contains our confidential information in an ongoing case, was leaked to the media while in the CCI’s custody. Protecting confidential information is fundamental to any governmental investigation, and we are pursuing our legal right to seek redress and prevent any further unlawful disclosures," the company said in a statement. “We cooperated fully and maintained confidentiality throughout the investigative process, and we hope and expect the same level of confidentiality from the institutions we engage with," it added.
Google also said it has not yet received a copy of the report.
Investigation reports by the director-general of the CCI are confidential and should be accessible only to the parties in a case and the regulator.
“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," Google said.
N.S. Nappinai, a Supreme Court lawyer and a cyber law expert, said that filing a petition in the high court cannot in any way stop the CCI’s inquiry into Google. In its statement, Google said it aims to prevent “any further unlawful disclosures of confidential filings". The company said it was “protesting against the breach of confidence which impairs Google’s ability to defend itself and harms Google and its partners."