Commission dismisses complaint against WhatsApp

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently rejected a case filed under section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002, against WhatsApp alleging contravention of section 4 of the act.

In Shri Vinod Gupta v WhatsApp Inc, USA, Gupta filed an information under section 19(1)(a) of the act, contending that in February 2014 WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service, was acquired by Facebook and in August 2016 WhatsApp introduced changes to its privacy policy that forced users to share their account details and other information with Facebook in order to continue to use WhatsApp’s services, thereby enabling Facebook to use customers’ data for targeted advertising in a highly deceptive manner. It was argued that WhatsApp was thus abusing its dominant position under section 4 of the act by forcing users to share account and other information with its parent company, Facebook.

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The dispute digest is compiled by Bhasin & Co, Advocates, a corporate law firm based in New Delhi. The authors can be contacted at lbhasin@bhasinco.in or lbhasin@gmail.com. Readers should not act on the basis of this information without seeking professional legal advice.

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