Google Cloud, a division of Alphabet, has accused Microsoft of using anti-competitive cloud computing strategies and criticized upcoming agreements with various European cloud vendors, claiming that these do not address more general issues with its license conditions.
Google Cloud Vice President Amit Zavery told Reuters that the business has brought up the matter with antitrust agencies and encouraged European Union antitrust regulators to conduct a more thorough investigation in its first public remarks on Microsoft and its European acquisitions.
Microsoft responded by citing a blog post from May of last year in which its president Brad Smith claimed the company “has a healthy number two position when it comes to cloud services, with just over 20% market share of global cloud services revenues.”
“We are committed to the European Cloud Community and their success,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday.
In the rapidly expanding, multi-billion dollar cloud computing market, where Amazon and Microsoft are market leaders, there is fierce competition between the two American IT behemoths.
Because of a few dominant organizations and the industry’s growing importance as more businesses move their services to the cloud, the sector has recently come under more regulatory scrutiny, especially in the United States and Great Britain.
A person with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters this week that Microsoft has promised to alter its cloud computing policies as part of an agreement with a few smaller competitors, which will suspend their antitrust charges in return.
An EU probe will be avoided by the action.
“Microsoft definitely has a very anti-competitive posture in cloud. They are leveraging a lot of their dominance in the on-premise business as well as Office 365 and Windows to tie Azure and the rest of cloud services and make it hard for customers to have a choice,” Zavery said in an interview late on Wednesday.
“When we talk to a lot of our customers, they find a lot of these bundling practices, as well as the way they create pricing and licensing restrictions, make it difficult for them to choose other providers,” he added.
According to Zavery, specific agreements made with a number of smaller European cloud companies solely benefit Microsoft.
“They’re selectively kind of buying out those ones who complain and not make those terms available to everyone. So that definitely makes it an unfair advantage to Microsoft and ties the people who complained back to Microsoft anyway,”
“Whatever they’re offering, there should be terms across for everybody, not just for one or two they’ve chosen and pick, and that shows you that they have so much market power they can kind of go and do those things individually.”
“My point to the regulators would be that they should look at this holistically, even though one or two vendors might settle doesn’t solve the broader problem. And that’s the problem we need to really resolve, not individual vendors’ problems.”
There were no comments from the European Commission.
Amazon is one of the members of CISPE, which has filed another EU antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. Microsoft’s amendments have been rejected by the trade association.
The idea that the problem is essentially a dispute between Google and Microsoft was rejected by Zavery.
“The question is not about Google. I just want to make it very clear. It’s the cloud. The premise with cloud was to have an open, flexible way to deploy your software and have customers more choices so that they can run their software in any place they choose to in a much more easy way,” he said.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)