Delhi High Court seeks response from CCI in WhatsApp, Facebook appeal
The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the CCI which had ordered the probe and sought its response by May 21.
The Single Judge, however, refused to interfere with the CCI order merely on the ground that the anti-trust authority should await the outcome of the pending cases before the Supreme Court and the High Court.
The single Judge had contended that there was no question of jurisdictional error and stated that WhatsApp and Facebook's pleas challenging its decision were "incompetent and misconceived".
Facebook's stand that an investigation could have been ordered against it was also rejected.
The CCI further took note of the "lock-in" effect of using an app as widely used as WhatsApp, and opined that the scope of sharing information may extend beyond the categories expressly mentioned in the policy. It had also contended that the data collected, which would include an individual's location, the kind of device used, their internet service provider, and whom they are conversing with, would lead to the creation of a customer profile and preference which would be monetised by way of targeted advertising and all this amounts to "stalking".
Such conduct, the CCI concluded appears to be in contravention of Section 4 of the Competition Act, which prohibits abuse of dominance.