Delhi High Court: Facebook and WhatsApp plea are misconceived in challenging CCI order on privacy policy

Competition Commission of India stated that new WhatsApp policy would lead to excess data and and would lead to abuse of dominant position.

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi for the CCI said that, the question was whether in a data driven eco-system whether excessive data sharing or use would result in anti-competitive consequence. In a hyperbole he added that, “The analysis of the data collected by WhatsApp will give even more information about an individual than actual physical stalking.”

Sr. Adv. Harish Salve for WhatsApp argued in the matter that 2021 policy provides for more transparency in business system, and WhatsApp business service is separate from Facebook.

Users personal information in WhatsApp is encrypted and cannot be accessed by the company, according to new update.

Adv on behalf of Facebook raised an issue on Jurisdiction of principle of comity of courts. It stated that matter is already pending before Delhi High Court and supreme Court of India and CCI being inferior Court cannot take the matter in its hand.

CCI as Sectoral Regulator  states that the order was passed correctly as “Using this data, they will eventually either buy-out the competition or make it irrelevant. Facebook comes into the picture because of the privacy policy through which data collection is happening.”

Justice Navin Chavla after hearing the matter stated that the order of CCI was not pervasive and was rightly made, there was no abuse of dominant position.

The court also stated that there is no error in jurisdiction and Facebook and WhatsApp plea are misconceived.

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