According to news outlet Reuters, Microsoft's rivals and customers have been served a questionnaire with various queries by EU antitrust regulators seeking information about the company's business and licensing deals. The latest action hints at a possible formal investigation into Microsoft's cloud business that might take place down the line.
The questionnaire mentioned:
The Commission has information that Microsoft may be using its potentially dominant position in certain software markets to foreclose competition regarding certain cloud computing services.
One of the queries by the regulators asked whether or not the terms in the company's licensing deals with cloud service providers enable rivals to compete effectively or if they are forced to use Microsoft's services in tandem in order to compete.
A German software provider, NextCloud, and a French cloud computing company, OVHcloud, along with two other companies registered complaints about Microsoft's cloud practices which led to the company facing scrutiny by antitrust regulators.
Reuters also cited an emailed statement issued by Microsoft, which stated that:
We're continuously evaluating how we can best support partners and make Microsoft software available to customers across all environments, including those of other cloud providers.
Microsoft has been fined by EU antitrust regulators in the past in the order of billion of euros. It will be interesting to see if the company can find a way out of its latest situation, provided that the investigation does proceed.