Microsoft Cloud business faces antitrust complaint in Europe

U.S. tech giant Microsoft is facing an antitrust complaint filed by three European rivals in the cloud business, Wall Street Journal news report said.
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The complaint, filed with the European Union’s competition watchdog months ago, alleges that Microsoft’s contractual and business practices make it costly and difficult for users of its cloud computing services to opt for those of a competitor.

French cloud computing services provider OVHcloud confirmed in a statement that it had joined the complaint against Microsoft. A spokesperson for the company declined to give the names of the two other European plaintiffs.

Microsoft is the second largest Cloud vendor in the market dominated by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Google Cloud is the third largest Cloud vendor.

Competitors and alternatives to Microsoft Azure, according to research firm Gartner, include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Alibaba Cloud, vCloud Air powered by OVH and Tencent Cloud.

A coalition of EU software and cloud businesses — Nextcloud GmbH — in November 2021 said Microsoft is bundling its OneDrive, Teams and other services with Windows and pushing consumers to sign up and hand over their data to Microsoft.

“This limits consumer choice and creates a barrier for other companies offering competing services. Microsoft has grown its market share to 66 percent of the EU market, while local providers lost out from 26 to 16 percent by favoring their own products and services,” Nextcloud said earlier.

“Through abusing its dominant position, Microsoft undermines fair competition and limits consumer choice in the cloud computing services market,” OVHcloud said.

The European Commission confirmed that it had received a complaint.

Microsoft in a news statement to Reuters said it is evaluating how it can support partners and make Microsoft software available to customers across all environments, including those of other cloud providers.

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