A cloud computing industry group has filed an antitrust complaint about Microsoft with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition.
Called Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe or “Cispe”, the body is made up of 24 cloud infrastructure providers, including some of Microsoft’s biggest cloud hosting rivals, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
In a statement, CISPE Secretary General Francisco Mingorance claimed Microsoft is “using its dominance in productivity software” in a way that “limits choice and drives up costs as European customers seek to move to the cloud, disrupting Europe’s digital economy.”
What is Microsoft accused of?
Cispe added that the tech giant engages in “anti-competitive practices, including discriminatory bundling and tying of its products, preferential pricing and customer loyalty, both at a technical and competitive level”.
Microsoft has made some changes so far in 2022 to alleviate these kinds of antitrust complaints, agreeing to change some of its licensing rules in August, admitting some degree of unfair practice, and placing software package upgrades in a blog post.
However, Cispe claimed that this changes were insufficient (opens in new tab)and that Microsoft has failed to ensure that its license terms “must be clear and understandable”.
This year, Microsoft has certainly received a lot of attention from an antitrust perspective.
In March 2022, French OVHcloud filed a separate cloud complaint with the European Commission in conjunction with Italian hosting biz Aruba.
Over the past decade, Microsoft has claimed more than $1.6 billion in antitrust fines from the European Commission.
Despite this intense level of regulatory oversight, the US-indebted “Big Three” of the cloud computing world still have a firm stranglehold on EU cloud spending.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google now control nearly three quarters (72%) of the European enterprise cloud storage market, while the market share of local providers has shrunk from 27% to just 13%.
- Interested in moving away from Microsoft products? Check out our guide to the best cloud storage