By LE Desk

New Delhi, April 22: The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed plea of instant messaging app WhatsApp challenging a decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) calling for an investigation into its controversial new privacy policy.

WhatsApp had contended that since the issue of its privacy policy was before the Supreme Court, the CCI did not need to order the probe. Not only WhatsApp, but social media giant Facebook, which owns the instant messaging app, also filed a similar petition challenging the competition watchdog’s March 24 decision.

WhatsApp had said the CCI “jumped the gun” and started the probe when this was not a competition issue. It had said the issue with respect to personal data of users, and sharing of personalised data was already before the Supreme Court, hence the CCI ought not to have intervened.

The High Court, however, noted that CCI’s order of investigation could not be quashed merely because it did not await the outcome of the pending cases before the Supreme Court and High Court, The Hindu reported.

The CCI, on the other hand, had argued the probe order was made to gauge whether access to data would lead to abuse of dominant position.

The commission had said it was dealing with the instant messaging app’s new privacy policy that could lead to “excessive data collection” of consumers, the use and sharing of the data in anti-competitive context.

The commission had said it was not concerned with the privacy aspect of the issue as the Supreme Court was already seized of it.

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