Amazon and Google Challenge Microsoft in CMA Cloud Investigation

Amazon, mirroring Google's recent actions, formally registered a complaint with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) against Microsoft, highlighting concerns over alleged anti-competitive behavior related to the latter's cloud licensing policies.

In response to the ongoing CMA investigation, Amazon contends that Microsoft imposes separate licenses for its software products when utilized in conjunction with alternative cloud service providers. This, Amazon argues, introduces a financial barrier for customers opting for providers other than Microsoft.

The filed grievance, dated November 23 and recently disclosed to the public, asserts that Microsoft strategically modified licensing terms in 2019 and 2022. Amazon claims these alterations were designed to impede customers from seamlessly utilizing popular software offerings on competitor platforms like Google Cloud, AWS, and Alibaba. The complaint specifically targets Microsoft's alleged effort to complicate the transition process away from its Azure service.

Notably, Google has also weighed in on the CMA investigation, suggesting that Microsoft should be mandated to improve interoperability and furnish security updates for customers transitioning between different cloud providers.
In response to the accusations, Microsoft rebuts the claims, attributing variations in cloud services to the natural competition within the innovation market. The company maintains that these differences do not result from illicit business practices tied to licensing.

In its defense, Microsoft underscores the diverse sources of competition in the UK's cloud market, highlighting significant investments by other major players such as Google, Oracle, and IBM. The company expresses a readiness to collaborate with the CMA throughout the ongoing market investigation to explore potential remedies.

Photo: DIW - AIgen

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