Facebook and WhatsApp on Monday urged the Delhi High Court to suspend a notice from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which requires them to provide certain information about its order of an investigation into the instant messaging app’s new privacy policy.

Judges Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Jasmeet Singh’s vacation benches indicated that the application order will be passed.

At the hearing, the judge said that because it was sitting on the vacation bench, it did not want to delve into the essence of the matter even if the main petition is pending on the bench led by the Chief Justice.

“We will pass the order. The matter will be listed on July 9 (the date of the main petition has been fixed),” the judge said.

The case involved an appeal by Facebook and WhatsApp to a single judge’s order that rejected their request for an investigation ordered by the CCI’s new privacy policy for instant messaging applications.

The High Court issued a notice on the appeal earlier and asked the center to respond.

In the new applications filed in the pending appeal, Facebook and WhatsApp sought to retain CCI’s June 4 notice, asking them to provide certain information for their investigation.

Harish Salve, a senior advocate on behalf of WhatsApp, said the problem is that they received a new notification on June 4, and the last reply date is today, which is June 21.

He said that the privacy policy has been challenged in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court through a number of petitions, and even the government is investigating.

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Senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi (Mukul Rohatgi), who appeared in court for Facebook, said that the issue here is appropriate and that it is incorrect to be the country’s Supreme Court, which means that the Supreme Court is investigating the matter.

“Why did they wait until the evening of June 4 to issue the notice? They could have done it earlier,” he said.
Additional Attorney General (ASG) Aman Lekhi, representing CCI, objected to the request that providing information during the investigation phase would not result in CCI issuing any order, and that the notice was based on an investigation that was not set aside by the High Court and this was not the first issue issued to them. Notifications.

ASG Balbir Singh, who also appeared in CCI, stated that because of statutory orders against Facebook and WhatsApp, they should not use the orders of the High Court and said that they will not provide the information required by CCI and that information should not stand still here. stage.

When the court asked what was the urgency of CCI to issue the notice, Lekhi said that this issue was not anxious, but the matter itself required a long process.

He said that until the Director General submits a report to CCI, no urgent action will be taken against them.

The High Court issued a notice on May 6 and sought answers to the CCI on the appeals filed by Facebook and WhatsApp.

The single judge on April 22 said that although the CCI is “cautious” awaiting the results of the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court’s petition against WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, if it does not, the regulator will not issue an order. “Abnormal” or “lack of jurisdiction.”

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The court has stated that it considers Facebook and WhatsApp’s requests to suspend CCI-directed investigations to be of no value.

CCI argued before a single judge that it did not review alleged violations of personal privacy under investigation by the Supreme Court.

It argued in court that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy will lead to excessive data collection and “tracking” of consumers for targeted advertising to attract more users, thus allegedly abusing its dominant position.

“There is no question of jurisdictional errors,” it argued that WhatsApp and Facebook’s questioning of its decision was “incompetence and misunderstanding.”

WhatsApp and Facebook questioned the CCI’s March 24 order, which directed an investigation into the new privacy policy.

CCI also told the court that only after an investigation can it be determined whether the data collected by WhatsApp and shared with Facebook constitutes anti-competitive behavior or abuse of dominant position.

It also argues that the collected data, including the location of the individual, the type of device used, their Internet service provider, and the people they talk to, will lead to the creation of customer profiles and preferences, which will be currency in the following ways Targeted advertising, all of which are equivalent to “tracking.”

The two social media platforms argued that when the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court are studying privacy policy, CCI should not “jump the gun” and intervene in this issue.

They also stated that the CCI’s decision abused the committee’s suo motu jurisdiction.

They claim that the CCI in this case has been “away” from the competition and is investigating privacy issues, which have been investigated by the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.

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In January of this year, CCI decided to investigate WhatsApp’s new privacy policy based on relevant news reports.