Google calls ICC “usual offender” in legal fight over probe leak

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Google on Friday accused India’s competition regulator in court of being a “repeat offender” by disclosing confidential information on cases it was reviewing, a charge dismissed by the watchdog.

The The Bharat Express News and Reuters reported on Saturday that an Indian Competition Commission (ICC) investigation revealed that Alphabet’s Google had abused the dominant position of its Android operating system in India, illegally using its ” huge financial muscle “to hurt its competition.

In an unusual move on Thursday, Google took the ICC to the Delhi High Court, saying in a statement it was “protesting the breach of trust” and “to prevent further unlawful disclosure of confidential findings.”

In the nearly hour-long court showdown on Friday, Google attorney Abhishek Manu Singhvi accused the ICC of repeatedly leaking information, claiming it had done so “to give a bad impression. reputation to a dog in advance, then hang him by these selective leaks. “

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He asked the court to tell the ICC “the leak cannot go on for another minute.”

CCI’s attorney, India’s Additional Solicitor General N. Venkataraman, denied the allegations, fighting back that the US tech giant was trying to derail the investigative process and challenging government authority without evidence.

“There is a charge against a government agency. Not a word in this entire affidavit showing how we did it and where the evidence is,” Venkataraman said, requesting the rejection of Google’s case. “How are we responsible for everything that has been said in this court? “

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Judge Rekha Palli noted the submissions of both parties in an order and scheduled another hearing for Monday.

Google declined to comment after the hearing, while the ICC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The antitrust authority ordered the investigation in 2019, saying Google appeared to have leveraged its dominance to curtail the ability of device makers to opt for alternative versions of its mobile operating system and force them to preinstall them. google apps.

The investigation found that the mandatory pre-installation of apps “amounts to imposing unfair conditions on device makers” in violation of India’s competition law, according to the 750-page report, which is not public.

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The report, seen by Reuters, also revealed that the company had leveraged the position of its Play Store app store to protect its dominance.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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