Google retaliates against CCI, accuses it to leaking confidential information


The US internet giant Google Inc has accused India’s antitrust regulator in a court of being a “habitual offender” by leaking confidential information of cases it was examining, on Friday 26 September.

According to reports from Reuters, an investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had found that Google abused the dominant position of its Android operating system in India, using its “huge financial muscle” illegally to hurt competitors.

In a move counterfeit its power struggle, Google has filed a suit against the CCI in the Delhi High Court on Thursday 23 September.

In its suit, the company claims that it was “protesting against the breach of confidence” and “to prevent any further unlawful disclosures of confidential findings”.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Google’s lawyer, accused the CCI of leaking information repeatedly, and asked the court to tell the CCI “leakage cannot continue for one minute more”.

CCI’s lawyer, India’s Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, denied the allegations, countering that the US tech giant was trying to frustrate the investigative process and was challenging a government authority without evidence.

“An accusation is made against a government body. Not a word in this whole affidavit showing how we have done it and where is the proof,” said Venkataraman, asking for Google’s filing to be dismissed.

Justice Rekha Palli noted the submissions of both sides in order and scheduled another hearing for Monday.

The antitrust authority ordered the probe in 2019, saying Google appeared to have leveraged its dominance to reduce device makers’ ability to opt for alternate versions of its mobile operating system and force them to pre-install Google apps.

The probe found that the mandatory pre-installation of apps “amounts to imposition of unfair condition on the device manufacturers” in violation of India’s competition law, according to the 750-page report, which is not public.

The report, seen by Reuters, also found the company leveraged the position of its Play Store app store to protect its dominance.