HC dismisses appeals of WhatsApp, Facebook against CCI probe
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the single judge's order was well-reasoned and the appeals are devoid of merits.
In April last year, a single judge of the high court had refused to interdict the investigation directed by the CCI on the petitions moved by WhatsApp LLC and Facebook Inc. -- now Meta platforms.
WhatsApp had argued before the division bench of the court that the CCI cannot probe a policy that has now been kept in abeyance to await the fate of the Data Protection Bill as well as the decision of the Supreme Court and the high court on issues concerning the legality of the policy.
Facebook had argued that there was no prima facie material in the case against it and the CCI cannot investigate it in a "creeping fashion".
The anti-trust regulator had said its probe concerned WhatsApp's anti-competitive sharing of user data with Facebook and not issues concerning the privacy law and that a judicial process cannot be used to thwart the investigation.
Before the single judge, WhatsApp and Facebook had challenged the CCI's March 2021 order directing a probe against them.
On January 3, while dealing with the appeals against the single-judge order, a bench headed by then Chief Justice DN Patel had extended the time for filing replies by Facebook and WhatsApp to two CCI notices of June 2021, asking them to furnish certain information for the purpose of the inquiry conducted by it.