CCI denied Google accusations in Delhi HC; says no confidential report leaked

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New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): The Competition Commission of India (CCI) denied leaking confidential reports as alleged by Google LLC in a plea, during the hearing of the case in Delhi High Court on Friday.

"No confidential report is leaked," told CCI to the Delhi High Court.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) N Venkataraman appearing for CCI(petitioner) in the matter also said, "in the re-appraisal, we have answered all the queries. We have said we will not reveal the signatory name".

ASG N Venkataraman further submitted that Google should sue media houses that published "so-called confidential reports" in case of any damages.

"We strongly condemn the accusations levelled by Google on a government body. There is no single evidence that we have done it," submitted the lawyer.

Justice Rekha Palli, who was hearing the case adjourned the matter for Monday.

Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Google LLC submitted that CCI is regularly leaking reports and "a protective order is needed, there is a direct leakage of the confidential report which is against the rules."

"This is happening habitually, then what is the need of this confidentiality requirement? There is a complete denial of natural justice," Dr Singhvi added.

Senior Advocate Arun Kathapalia also appeared along with Dr Singhvi for Google.

Tech Gaint Google on Thursday filed a writ petition in Delhi High Court alleging a confidential interim fact-finding report submitted by the Director General's office to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) relating to an ongoing investigation into Google's Android smartphone agreements was leaked to the media.

Google in a press statement stated that, on September 18, "a confidential interim fact-finding report was submitted by the Director General's office to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) relating to an ongoing investigation into Google's Android smartphone agreements was leaked to the media. Google has not yet received or reviewed this confidential report."

Commenting on the petition with the high court, a Google spokesperson said, "We are deeply concerned that the Director General's Report, which contains our confidential information in an ongoing case, was leaked to the media while in the CCI's custody."

Google spokesperson statement further stated, "protecting confidential information is fundamental to any governmental investigation, and we are pursuing our legal right to seek redress and prevent any further unlawful disclosures. We cooperated fully and maintained confidentiality throughout the investigative process, and we hope and expect the same level of confidentiality from the institutions we engage with".

"The DG's findings do not reflect the final decision of the CCI and the submission of the investigation report is an interim procedural step. Google has not yet had the opportunity to review the DG's findings, much less submit its defence of any allegations," added the statement. (ANI)

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