Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India on Wednesday decided to launch an investigation into WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy and terms of service, reported PTI.

The Competition Commission of India directed its investigation arm, the director general, to complete the inquiry after prima facie finding that the Facebook-owned company has violated competition law provisions through its “exploitative and exclusionary conduct” in the garb of the policy update.

“The commission is of prima facie opinion that the ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ nature of privacy policy and terms of service of WhatsApp and the information sharing stipulations mentioned therein, merit a detailed investigation in view of the market position and market power enjoyed by WhatsApp,” the regulator said.

The Centre has also requested the Delhi High Court to restrain WhatsApp from implementing its new privacy policy till a decision is made on the petitions challenging its validity.

The messaging platform had announced changes to its privacy policy on January 4. Questions were raised about how the company was forcing users to agree to share their information with Facebook if they want to keep using the service.

According to WhatsApp, the update does not expand the platform’s ability to share data with Facebook but intends to give users further transparency about how it collects, uses and shares information.

The Competition Commission said the veracity of these claims by WhatsApp would be examined during the investigation. It has asked the director general to submit a report within 60 days.

The commission also said that users, who are owners of their personalised data, are entitled to be informed about the extent, scope and precise purpose of sharing such information with other Facebook companies.

“However, it appears from the privacy policy as well as terms of service [including the frequently asked questions published by WhatsApp], that many of the information categories described therein are too broad, vague and unintelligible,” it said.

The regulator added that such incomplete disclosures hide the actual data cost that a user incurs for availing services of the messaging company.

“There appears to be no justifiable reason as to why users should not have any control or say over such cross-product processing of their data by way of voluntary consent, and not as a precondition for availing WhatsApp’s services,” it said.

On February 15, the Supreme Court had directed WhatsApp to give an undertaking that private data of users was not being shared with a third party. The court told the messaging platform that people valued their privacy more than money.

After this, WhatsApp had indicated that it would go ahead with its controversial privacy policy and announced an outreach exercise to familiarise users with it. The company had initially said that would push back the changes to May 15 from February 8.