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Microsoft could pay millions to European cloud provider association

The Microsoft logo in front of the EU flag

Two industry sources speaking to Politico have said that Microsoft is near to reaching an agreement with the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE) where it would pay several million euros for an antitrust complaint to be dropped and for no more to be lodged by CISPE anywhere in the world.

The anonymous sources told Politico that the deal has not yet been accepted by CISPE members yet, so negotiations could still run on for longer. One of the issues that members will have to think about is how payment should be made, it’s possible, according to one of the sources that separate payments could be made to the individual companies.

Aside from Microsoft paying out millions of euros, the settlement would prohibit CISPE and its member from filing legal complaints against Microsoft in any country worldwide. In a statement, Microsoft said it is working constructively with CISPE to resolve the concerns of European cloud providers. Meanwhile, CISPE confirmed that proposals have been made by the negotiating parties but that no agreement has yet been reached.

CISPE complained to the European Commission back in 2022 to look into Microsoft’s alleged abuse of power over software licensing terms. The body believes that Microsoft’s practices have led to the creation of discriminatory pricing that locks customers into Microsoft’s services, making it unrealistic for other players to compete.

Incidentally, one of the current backers of CISPE is Amazon, one of Microsoft’s main competitors in the cloud space with its Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s unclear how much Amazon is pulling CISPE’s strings but it has declined to comment on the matter.

Politico said that the negotiations between Microsoft and CISPE was launched in February. CISPE said that any remedies made by Microsoft must be applicable across the sector and to all cloud customers in Europe, including those of Amazon.

Source: Politico

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