Competition Commission of India is notorious for keeping a tight check on businesses in the country, and ensuring that they abide by all the anti-competitive laws that prevent the creation of monopolies. However, every now and then, everyone makes a slip up, and for CCI, that happened when a confidential report about an antitrust probe against Google was leaked to the press. Now, Google, which has been unable to review or receive the report, has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the CCI.
The company claims that it seeks “redress in this matter, specifically protesting against the breach of confidence which impairs Google’s ability to defend itself and harms Google and its partners.”
Google, which practically rules the smartphone market in India thanks to the unbound proliferation of its Android OS, was accused of using its power to suppress competition. The report claims that Google had reduced device manufacturing firms’ ability and incentive to develop and sell alternate versions of Android.
That’s not all, as the report also found that Google’s requirement to make it mandatory for device manufacturers to pre-install its apps is a violation of India’s competition law, which also happens to be the second largest internet market in the world.
“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,” a Google spokesperson said.
The company is concerned with the fact that the report leaking out to the media proposes a new challenge for its image in the market. Google argues that it cannot provide any defense to a report it has not yet seen, and thus, has decided to file a writ as damage control.
However, these claims against Google are not the first time the company has been accused of anticompetitive practices. The tech giant is facing similar charges in USA, as the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company last year. Thus, it would be interesting to see if the findings of the CCI report lead to similar measures against Google in India.