The ugly faceoff between the global technology giant Google and competition watchdog CCI on Thursday reached Delhi High Court after the former filed a writ petition alleging 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.
Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned the matter before the bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh stating CCI has prepared an investigative report related to Google, which is being selectively leaked in the media. The bench will hear the matter on Friday.
Earlier Google in a press statement stated that on September 18, 2021, a confidential interim fact-finding report was 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. Google has not yet received or reviewed this confidential report.
Following this Google filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court seeking redress in this matter, specifically protesting against the breach of confidence, which impairs Google's ability to defend itself and harms Google and its partners.
Commenting on the petition with the high court, a Google spokesperson said, “We are deeply concerned that the Director General's Report, which contains our confidential information in an ongoing case, was leaked to the media while in the CCI's custody.”
Google spokesperson statement further stated, “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. 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.”
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, the Google statement read.