On last Wednesday, CADE shelved, the proceeding that investigated Google for abuse of its dominant position in its search services. The origin of the case was a complaint presented by E-Commerce Media Group, the owner of price comparators Buscapé and Bondfaro.
The claimant alleged that Google was leveraging its market power in the general search market for the product search market by placing Google Shopping results in a privileged position on Google Search’s organic search results page, infringing on search neutrality. It also alleged that Google harmed the price comparison sites by requiring that they sought to buy Google Shopping photo ads to sell the advertised product on its page.
The case reporting commissioner, Mauricio Bandeira Maia, found that it was not possible to verify if Google had factually manipulated the organic search results. He also understood that the requirements imposed by Google for the purchase of photo ads were not anti-competitive and possessed valid justifications.
Commissioner Polyanna Vilanova and Alexandre Barreto, the president of CADE who made use of his double vote to form a majority in the Tribunal, followed the reporting commissioner’s understandings.
In 2015, Google received a fine of EUR 2.4 billion from the European Commission in a proceeding that investigated similar conduct. The differences between the European and Brazilian cases were pointed out by the president of CADE in his vote.