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Google CCI Case: Not leaked info on Google probe, CCI tells HC

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The Competition Commission of India (ICC) told the Delhi High Court on Monday that it did not leak any information to the media related to an investigation into Google’s Android smartphone deals. Noting the submissions of the, the higher court said that nothing survives in the petition filed by the Internet giant Google against the alleged leak of confidential information from the investigation and discarded the statement.

The court said that in the event that Google has further complaints about the leakage of the information, it will be open for it to resort to available legal remedies.

“This court has not ruled on the claims of the petitioner (Google) that it is the defendant 1 (CCI) who is responsible for these leaks,” clarified Judge Rekha Palli.

Additional Attorney General N Venkataraman, representing the ICC, asserted that the leak assumption was incorrect.

He said that even though the commission upholds the legality of its order on Google’s appeal against the CEO’s order on its “confidentiality claim”, to speed up proceedings, it has no objection to accepting the company’s request on confidentiality.

“CCI was willing to maintain confidentiality …”, said the ASG and congratulated Google on its 23rd birthday.

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“Today is Google’s 23rd birthday. We salute them through their advice and wish them all the best,” he said.

When the ASG said that the brief request has nothing to do with the infringement, lead attorney Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appears on Google, said that “this brief (petition) is closely related to the infringement.”

Google’s lawyer said that in case the ICC is bound by his statement, the complaint will be resolved.

The ICC had previously told the high court that Google’s statement against the alleged leak of confidential information from the investigation was totally misplaced and was an attempt to thwart proceedings related to its Android smartphone deals.

He said that the commission complied with the legal obligation regarding the maintenance of confidentiality and clarified that there were no lapses on the part of the body.

Google’s lawyer had said that the information allegedly leaked was only in the possession of the Director General, who also transmitted it to CCI and that no other person, including the parties, had knowledge of it.

Google, in a statement, had said that on September 18, 2021, a confidential interim investigation report submitted by the CEO’s office to CCI in connection with an investigation into the Android smartphone deals was leaked to the media. of Google.

The company had said it had filed the petition in court seeking redress, specifically protesting the breach of trust that affects Google’s ability to defend itself and harms it and its partners.

The ICC investigation is reportedly alleged to have found Google allegedly abusing its dominant position and indulging in unfair practices with respect to the Android mobile operating system.

After finding a prima facie alleged violation of competition rules, the watchdog, in early 2019, had ordered a detailed investigation against Google in this regard.

Under procedure, CCI will closely scrutinize the investigation report and seek views and submissions from interested parties before approving an order.

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