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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightDelhi HC dismisses...

Delhi HC dismisses WhatsApp, Meta pleas against CCI probe

Delhi HC dismisses WhatsApp, Meta pleas against CCI probe

The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed pleas from WhatsApp and Facebook challenging the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) decision to launch a probe into the 2021 revisions to the instant messaging app's privacy policies.

A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that the appeals against CCI's probe were devoid of merits.

The CCI last year ordered a probe into the privacy policy, which it said violated the Competition Act 2000. It issued notices to WhatsApp and its parent company, Facebook (called Meta now), saying their privacy policies were neither transparent nor based on the voluntary consent of the users.

The Delhi High Court, on July 25, reserved its orders in the case.

Additional Solicitor General N Venkatraman, who argued for CCI, said in a hearing earlier that since the probe had not been disallowed by any judicial forum, the regulator was within its powers to continue its investigation.

Whatsapp's lawyer argued that the privacy policy was being examined by the Supreme Court and so the investigation cannot be allowed.

A lawyer for Meta said the messaging platform cannot be made a party to the case just because of its parent company.

In the previous hearings, the CCI told the HC that it was not able to proceed with its investigation into Whatsapp's privacy policy of 2021. The court had last year allowed time for both the platforms to file replies in connection with the investigation. The CCI had told the court that there was 'virtually a stay' on the case proceedings and that it should be allowed to look into the messaging platform's privacy policy.

"The investigation is 16 months old. We are not able to move an inch. We must be allowed to investigate," the CCI's counsel said. The court had then said that there was no stay on the proceedings and asked the two platforms to file replies for consideration.

WhatsApp and Facebook had challenged the High Court judge's order in April last year allowing CCI to proceed with its investigation. The judge had however observed that it would be prudent of CCI to wait for the apex court's order regarding the privacy policy.

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TAGS:Delhi HCWhatsAppMeta
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