General Superintendence recommends the filling of two proceedings against Google
The General Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE recommended, in an opinion published in the Official Gazette on 11 May 2018, the filling of two administrative proceedings that investigate alleged violations to the economic order in the internet search market.
The first proceeding was initiated from a complaint made by the company E-Commerce Media Group Informação e Tecnologia Ltda., which accused Google of copying the review of customers regarding products advertised in the websites Buscapé and Bondfaro. The reviews were allegedly exhibited as an original content of Google Shopping. The company argues that, to this end, Google would have exercised its market power in online searches.
The second proceeding started from a complaint made by Microsoft, owner of the comparison-shopping site Bing, which claimed that Google reduced incentives for the companies to advertise, simultaneously, in the search result page of Bing (through Bing Ads) and Google (through AdWords). According to Microsoft, Google would be imposing abusive clauses in the terms and conditions of use of the software for advertising campaigns in the AdWords platform. These clauses would reduce the incentives for companies to advertise in both AdWords and Bing, as well as in websites of competitors.
Regarding the first proceeding, the General Superintendence concluded that there was not enough evidence that the alleged conduct would have harmed Brazilian consumers. In addition, price-comparison competitors informed CADE that they were not harmed by similar practices conducted by Google.
Concerning the second proceeding on abusive clauses, the Superintendence found that the conduct did not cause negative effects, even if potential. After contacting several Bing Ads and AdWords costumers, aside from advertising agencies, the Superintendence verified that the advertisement in more than one site is possible, and the demands imposed by Google over the creation of softwares do not limit the simultaneous advertising.
Finally, the General Superintendence concluded that there is no evidence of infringements to the economic order in these cases.
The proceedings were forwarded to CADE's Tribunal, responsible for issuing the final decision.
The filling of these cases does not hinder the progress of other investigations regarding Google conducted by CADE. Currently, there are ongoing investigations at the General Superintendence concerning Google search results and an alleged abuse of dominance in the local search market.