The UK’s digital regulator, Ofcom, has announced that it will investigate Amazon, Microsoft, and Google’s market position in the cloud services space. The regulator said this space is still growing, but it wants to identify competition concerns and stop them becoming “embedded” as the market becomes more mature.
During the process, Ofcom will gather the views of parties involved or interested in the market and then put together a final report with recommendations in the next 12 months. If it finds any issues, it can recommend to the government that regulations are changed, take enforcement action, and ask the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) to look into issues. It has already been working with the CMA as it plans the study and will carry on doing so throughout.
Aside from looking into cloud service providers, Ofcom will look into WhatsApp, Zoom, and FaceTime to see how they are shaking up calling and messaging. It also wants to see if their ability to interact (or lack of ability) raises any competition concerns too. It will also look into digital personal assistants, connected TVs, and smart speakers to see how they’re changing access to TV, radio, and online content. This research will help it identify any issues that it believes need addressing.
Ofcom published a timeline of events for this study, it said that in six months it will post a decision on a possible market investigation if necessary. In 12 months, it’s expected that the study will be published and this will include any recommendations that it decides to make.