Google Slapped With Antitrust Charges in Brazil
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has a rough time in store for it after Brazilian shopping sites made accusations that the company was playing favorites with its product listings, using rivals content inappropriately, and hindering Brazilian advertisements. Also on its plate: complaint from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) concerning preferential treatment towards its AdWords service — a major source of revenue for the company — and a similar antitrust conflict Google is still working to close with the European Union.
The Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (or CADE), responsible for monitoring competition law, announced on Friday that it would look into these accusations. Shopping sites Buscape and Bondfardo did some finger-pointing of their own, according to Reuters. Both said that Google had been copying product reviews from their users — scraping — while still disallowing competitors from doing the same with Google Shopping.
The two Brazilian shopping sites also claim that Google has given Google Shopping an advantage in Web searches — being the only price-comparison item that pops up with photos, prices and evaluations.