European regulators raise questions about Microsoft's cloud practices - MUNDO APLI


sábado, 23 de abril de 2022

European regulators raise questions about Microsoft's cloud practices


European regulators are asking Microsoft Corp.'s partners and rivals for information related to a complaint filed against the software maker alleging anticompetitive behavior in the market for cloud computing services.

In March, the European Commission circulated a questionnaire, seen by Bloomberg News, focused on how Microsoft licenses its products. The questions may lead to a formal investigation and follow an antitrust complaint filed last year by France's OVH and two other cloud providers with the European Union's antitrust watchdog over Microsoft's behavior.

The questionnaire asks respondents if they have signed agreements to be part of Microsoft programs that allow other partners and cloud providers to resell Microsoft programs, as well as questions about whether the company is making it difficult or more expensive to run some of its programs. rival programs. cloud provider networks.

“We can confirm that the commission has received the complaint,” said a European Commission press officer. “At this time we cannot share any other information about this.”

Microsoft, the market-leading maker of Office and Windows software, is also the world's second-largest seller of cloud infrastructure, renting computing power and storage delivered over the Internet to customers. Inc. is the biggest provider of such services, and Alphabet Inc.'s Google is trying to catch Microsoft. As companies increasingly mix and match vendor programs, or use multiple clouds, OVH and others say Microsoft's software license terms put them at a disadvantage for running Microsoft products and make it easier or cheaper to mix of elements such as Windows, Office and Windows Server. with Microsoft's own Azure cloud.

"The cloud market is growing and European cloud providers have created successful business models using Microsoft software and services," Microsoft said in an emailed statement. "We continually evaluate how we can better support partners and make Microsoft software available to customers in all environments, including those from other cloud providers."

Microsoft has largely escaped the global antitrust scrutiny faced by other big tech companies like Meta Platforms Inc., Apple Inc., Google and Amazon. But this month, the European Union reached an agreement on a new law that paves the way for multimillion-dollar fines and acquisition bans for the worst offenders of a new Digital Markets Law. The rules target so-called gatekeeper companies with the power to control distribution in their markets. That includes Microsoft.

The information request asks for details about things like whether Microsoft's cloud-based Windows and Office products are capable of running on competing cloud products or whether Microsoft would need to "do technical adjustments" to enable that. And it asks if the respondent feels they need to include certain Microsoft products or services in their own cloud infrastructure offering "in order to compete effectively."

The companies were also asked to compare the software license terms their customers receive with those Microsoft offers its own customers under a program called the Azure Hybrid Benefit Program. Offer customers a discount for running certain Microsoft products, such as Windows Server, on Azure instead of another cloud provider. Companies have until April 7 to respond to the questionnaire.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario