Microsoft fails to settle with European cloud providers amid EU antitrust investigation

Microsoft fails in cloud settlement

Microsoft faces obstacles in reaching an agreement with the CISPE (Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe) as the EU investigates its alleged cloud market dominance. The case involves unfair bundling practices, creating economic lock-ins that hinder customer switching and multi-cloud adoption.

The complaint against Microsoft was filed by CISPE, a European organization representing 26 cloud providers. According to a CISPE spokesperson, Microsoft's offer to settle the matter was deemed insufficient, falling far short of the minimum requirements necessary for negotiations to proceed.

At the heart of the case lies the allegation that Microsoft's bundled services are discriminatory towards other companies, impeding fair competition and hindering customer choice.

"It was a pretty paltry offer and very far short of anything we consent acceptance of," the trade group said in the statement. "In principle, we have minimum requirements before we expect negotiations to go forward."

The European Commission has already commenced inquiries by soliciting feedback from cloud service providers and customers regarding data handling and collection practices. Additionally, the Commission seeks more detailed information on how Microsoft's software bundling impacts customers' usage patterns.

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In response to the allegations, Microsoft stated that it was willing to address valid concerns regarding its cloud licensing terms. The company highlighted that over 100 cloud providers, including 75 based in Europe, have already taken advantage of recent licensing changes.

The outcome of this dispute remains uncertain, as it is still being determined whether Microsoft will present CISPE with a revised settlement offer. It also remains to be seen if an agreement can be reached before the EU's full-scale antitrust investigation into Microsoft's practices commences.

As the investigation progresses, it will be imperative for Microsoft to address the concerns raised by CISPE and the wider cloud community in order to mitigate potential antitrust implications. The EU's scrutiny of Microsoft's actions in the cloud market reflects the growing importance of fair competition.

Source: The Register

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