By Dow Jones Business News, October 11, 2013, 12:45:00 PM EDT
BRASILIA--The superintendency of Brazil's federal antitrust court, CADE, has opened an investigation into alleged
anticompetitive practices by Google Inc. ( GOOG ) and local subsidiary Google Brasil Internet Ltda. in the Brazilian
online-search market, the court said Friday.
The complaint was brought to the court by E-Commerce Media Group Informacao e Tecnologia Ltda., owner of Brazilian
Internet commerce websites Buscape and Bondfaro, and by Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT ), owner of online-search provider Bing.
According to the complaint, the companies allege Google favors its own e-commerce search websites, such as Google
Shopping, by discriminatory ad placement and content management, unfair data collection practices, and "anticompetitive
restrictions" by Google's online advertising platform, AdWords.
A court spokeswoman said Google would have 30 days to present a defense in the investigation.
If the complaint is found valid by the superintendency, the spokeswoman said, the court will open formal trial
hearings on the matter.
Brazilian law stipulates that, if found guilty of the accusations, Google could be required to pay fines equivalent to
between 0.1% and 20% of its local gross revenues in the year prior to the filing of the complaint.
Contacted for comment, a Google spokeswoman said the company had not yet received formal notification of the
investigation, but was prepared to work with local authorities regarding the matter.
"We will of course work with Brazilian regulators to address any questions or concerns they may have," the spokeswoman
said. "Governments and courts around the world--including in Brazil--have already examined competition issues thoroughly
and found no violation of law."
Write to Gerald Jeffris at firstname.lastname@example.org
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