CADE study on digital platform markets is launched

The document reveals the authority’s interpretation of the sector in cases under its scrutiny

On August 6, the Brazilian antitrust authority (“CADE”) launched a study on digital platform markets that presents information, data and knowledge to the public, which was obtained through the analyses of cases brought to the attention of the antitrust authority.

The study begins by stating that digital platforms are generally intermediaries that connect two or more groups of users and benefit from direct and indirect network effects. In addition, CADE presents an overview of the digital platform markets, its relationship with the Brazilian General Data Protection Law, portability, and the importance of maintaining net neutrality.

The document highlights that CADE analyzed 143 mergers between 1995 and 2020, 36% of which referred to online advertising and 20% to online retail. The authority points out that these transactions did not generate major concerns overall, as most were analyzed by the fast track procedure (with a shorter period of analysis) and cleared without any restrictions.

CADE also presents a summary of the anticompetitive conduct cases investigated by the authority in these markets between 1995 and 2020. Sixteen investigations were launched, and most of the conducts involved exclusivity agreements and abuse of dominant position.

Finally, the study concludes that the Brazilian Antitrust Law (Law No. 12,529/2011) is still able to effectively regulate digital platform markets. Therefore, the decisions analyzed contribute to the understanding that competition law and other applicable laws are highly adaptable, and that it is possible to apply them to a wide variety of business practices.

The final version of CADE’s Notebook on digital platforms markets can be accessed at the following link.