Data Protection & PrivacyTech & Competition

Delhi High Court refuses to stay CCI’s notice seeking info from WhatsApp

The Delhi High Court has refused to stay Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) notice to WhatsApp, seeking information for the purpose of investigating its new Privacy Policy. The Director General (DG) of CCI had issued the notice on June 4th, 2021.

Earlier, CCI had ordered a probe on 24.03.2021, observing WhatsApp’s new privacy policy to be prima facie abuse of dominance. WhatsApp challenged the order, but single judge bench of the Delhi High Court rejected its contentions on 22.04.2021. As a result, WhatsApp appealed before a Division Bench, which has now rejected the appeal. Alongside, WhatsApp also filed an appeal seeking a stay on the June 4th orders of the CCI.

The Challenge

Sr. Adv. Harish Salve appeared for WhatsApp, and argued that while the appeal is pending, the DG has issued notice, demanding information and response to certain queries. He added that related challenges are also pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. He further said that the DG’s demand for information within 15 days on notice, on pain of penalty, without awaiting a decision in the pending cases is an act of judicial overreach, which deserves to be restrained.

“Substantial Overlap”

As mentioned earlier, along with an LPA challenging the order of the Single Judge Bench, WhatsApp had also moved an application seeking interim relief, whereby it had sought ex-parte ad-interim stay of operation of order dated 24.03.2021.

The Court said that “there is substantial overlap, in fact near identity” between both prayers, hence “we do not consider it appropriate to stay the operation of impugned order dated 04.06.2021, at this stage.”

Do subscribe to our Telegram channel for more resources and discussions on technology law and news. To receive weekly updates, don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter.

Rohit Ranjan Praveer

Rohit is a practicing advocate at Delhi. Beginning as a tech enthusiast, Rohit always had a keen interest in computer forensics and information security. Building upon these fundamentals, he has undertaken extensive research on various techno-legal topics and continues his pursuit pass on valuable information to the masses, with a zeal to build something that outlasts him.​

Share your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.