The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday temporarily barred the Competition Commission of India (CCI) from disclosing confidential information of Google India Pvt Ltd to the plaintiff Alliance Of Digital India Foundation until May 25.
This is in light of the fact that CCI is currently investigating whether Google is using anti-competitive measures to compel developers distributing their apps through Play Store to use Google Play’s billing system and pay 15-30% on the sale of digital goods online. as a service. costs. CCI reportedly found the tech giant guilty of engaging in anti-competitive, unfair and restrictive business practices in the mobile operating system and related markets.
A holiday bench of Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav mentioned:
“After briefly hearing from the parties, it would be appropriate to ensure that the confidential information is not shared with Respondent #2 and is subject to further scrutiny. The Commission should suspend its hand with regard to concerns other subsequent representations made by the petitioners regarding the same aspect.
He added, “It is further clarified that the petitioner is bound by the deadlines with respect to the ongoing proceedings before the Competition Commission of India.”
The company went to court after an order was issued by the Commission dated April 18, authorizing the sharing of confidential company information with Respondent 2.
Lead Counsel Gopal Subramanium and Lead Counsel Sajan Poovayya, appearing for the company relying on Regulation 35(8) of the Competition Commission of India (General) Amendment Regulations 2022, have argues that “the ICC, in its order of 2022-04-18 authorized the disclosure of confidential information to Respondent 2, which is contrary to regulation.”
Furthermore, it has been said that “Regulation 35(6) should be read and interpreted harmoniously with Regulation 35(8), which is an overriding provision.” It was also argued that in light of the confidential information, whether the conditions of 35(8) have been met by CCI, applying its spirit and recording its conclusion in terms of the conditions met, is a question which is to be decided by this tribunal.”
Barrister Abir Roy, representing Respondent 2, said: “The covenant he has given under Section 35(7) is a solemn covenant by which they are bound and must be taken into note.” Roy even raised the question of the maintainability of the petition.
Lead Counsel Harish Narasappa appearing for the TCC argued that a subsequent representation was made by the petitioner on the same line, who awaits the order to be adopted by the commission.
Following which the court, in its order, said: “The matter was raised in the holiday bench at the outset, it was made clear that the final order, even with respect to interim measures, will be made after a detailed examination and in the light of this, a transitional provisional instruction is adopted. It is specified that any observations made by this order will not be considered as a conclusion or a definitive opinion and are subject to a new order to be passed.”
Consequently, it adopted the provisional instruction which will be in force until May 25, date of the next hearing.
Case Title: GOOGLE INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED and others v COMPETITION COMMISSION OF INDIA and others
Case No: WP 9399/2022
Click here to read/download the order