Daily Management Review

EU Antitrust Regulators Now Target Cloud Business Of Microsoft


EU Antitrust Regulators Now Target Cloud Business Of Microsoft
EU antitrust investigators of the European Union are talking to  Microsoft's competitors and customers about the cloud business and licencing relationships of the American tech giant, a step that may lead to a formal probe and renewed scrutiny of the US software giant.
In the previous decade, the European Commission fined Microsoft a total of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) for breaking EU antitrust regulations and failing to comply with its order to stop anticompetitive conduct.
After German software firm NextCloud, France's OVHcloud, and two other companies submitted complaints about Microsoft's cloud tactics, the corporation was once again on the EU competition enforcer's radar.
"The Commission has information that Microsoft may be using its potentially dominant position in certain software markets to foreclose competition regarding certain cloud computing services," the questionnaire said.
Microsoft's licencing agreements with cloud service providers are being scrutinised by regulators to see if they allow competitors to compete successfully.
They also want to know if enterprises needed Microsoft's operating systems and productivity programmes to compete effectively with their own cloud infrastructure offering.
Companies were also questioned about the discrepancies in licence costs and commercial terms between cloud service provider licencing deals and another programme in which they package and resell Microsoft's cloud services alongside their own.
Potential technical constraints on cloud storage services accessible on a company's cloud infrastructure were also a focus.
"We're continuously evaluating how we can best support partners and make Microsoft software available to customers across all environments, including those of other cloud providers," Microsoft said in an emailed statement.
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager earlier this week said she has no concerns yet about cloud computing and cited the competition from Europe's Gaia-X initiative.