Google has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) accusing Microsoft of using its position to retain cloud customers.
According to a report published by The Information, Google has filed a complaint alleging that Microsoft has abused its dominant position in the enterprise space to push customers towards its cloud offerings. As per Google's filing, Microsoft has used licensing terms in Office 365 contracts to capture and lock customers into separate Azure contracts.
This is not the first instance where Microsoft's customer acquisition has been called into question. Last year, Microsoft was forced into making changes to its licensing terms in the European Union (EU) based on a then three-year-old complaint.
As part of the settlement, Microsoft made it easier for customers to carry over their software to the cloud as well as “provide more flexibility for their customers”. However, the company did not implement these changes in the US.
The latest complaint is Google's attempt to draw the US watchdog's attention towards practices that were deemed anti-competitive by its counterpart in the EU.
Moreover, earlier this year, European Union's antitrust watchdog had opened an informal probe into Microsoft Azure. As a part of the probe, the regulatory body had reached out to various parties asking them to provide evidence of wrongdoings.
As per the report, there were complaints made by other competitors and customers that Microsoft was abusing its access to confidential information to leverage and compete with other cloud-service providers.
The latest complaint is just the tip of the iceberg as the cloud computing market continues to grow at an exponential rate. As per the latest data, Amazon Web Services currently leads the cloud computing market, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud coming in third place.
It will be interesting to see how this latest case evolves and what impact it may have on the overall cloud computing market share, and especially to Microsoft Azure's market share.