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Google Urges UK Antitrust Action Against Microsoft's Business Methods

CIO Insider Team | Friday, 1 December, 2023
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Google says Microsoft's business methods have put competitors at a major disadvantage, therefore it has called on Britain's antitrust regulator to take action against the company.

In October, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened an inquiry into British business after media watchdog Ofcom forwarded information highlighting Amazon and Microsoft's market dominance.

Given their supremacy in the cloud computing space, Microsoft and Amazon have come under increasing international investigation, with US, UK, and EU regulators all looking into their market domination.

According to Ofcom, by 2022, Microsoft's Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) would account for 70–80 percent of the UK public cloud infrastructure services. The largest competitor of theirs, holding a 5–10 percent market share, was Google's cloud business.

In October of last year, the CMA had already begun looking into the UK cloud computing market.

This came about as a result of a referral by the media monitor, Ofcom, highlighting the industry domination of Microsoft and Amazon. With its latest move, Google has expanded the scope of the competition being closely examined in the cloud services industry.

Google presented the CMA with six proposals, two of which were to prevent Microsoft from preventing customers who transfer from Azure to other cloud services by requiring it to increase interoperability and to stop withholding security upgrades.

Microsoft addressed these issues and encouraged competition by updating its license guidelines last year, but competitors were not pleased with the modifications.

Google stated in a letter to the CMA that consumers were unjustly barred from using rival services, even when Azure was their primary supplier, by Microsoft's licensing policies.

The company claimed that these actions hurt consumers directly and constituted the sole real impediment to competition in the British cloud computing sector.

The move by Microsoft to modify the terms under which users could use their Windows or other software licenses in the cloud was in question because it essentially increased the cost of using Google or AWS in instead of Microsoft's Azure.

Google presented the CMA with six proposals, two of which were to prevent Microsoft from preventing customers who transfer from Azure to other cloud services by requiring it to increase interoperability and to stop withholding security upgrades.

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