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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

France's OVHcloud antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the EU: Rivalry among cloud giants

Rivalry among cloud giants is pretty severe as they deal with millions of dollars in transactions. The liquidity is so massive, every little feature coming into the market can make or break the decision maker's choice. Over the past few days, another rivalry has been heating up against Microsoft Azure. Reports said they are allegedly abusing a dominant market position.



EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft's cloud business is gaining heat as the competitive market is hurting for unhealthy choices. Three European rivals in the cloud computing business filed an antitrust complaint against Azure policy.


Frech data centre OVHcloud sells web hosting, server infrastructure and cloud computing services. In the summer of 2021, OVHcloud filed a complaint with the European Commission (EC) antitrust arm. Even though the filing was made a month back, it came to light once the motions started severely. The current focus is on Microsoft's licensing operation and how it affects competitors.


Tech giant Microsoft serves enterprise customers with cloud services, Office 365 and many other custom solutions. Even though there are competitors, they are simply no match for the specialised services offered by Microsoft. On one side, it is excellent to know world-class services exist. They offer plenty of opportunities for IT decision-makers. On the flip side, they have a dominant position and abusing that is pretty easy.


Alleged offence against Microsoft reports their Office productivity suite favours its cloud services. Microsoft product licensing is more expensive on other platforms than Azure. It probably makes sense as they can offer all of the company services at a smaller price than selling services separately to other vendors.


OVHcloud discussed the dominant position as "Microsoft undermines fair competition and limits consumer choice in the cloud computing services market." The first one to report the ongoings was The Wall Street Journal, and later other news portals followed up.


The EC confirmed receiving the complaint. Though they did not elaborate much, a spokesperson said, "we're continuously evaluating how we can best support partners and make Microsoft software available to customers across all environments."


Even though the software's are available for all kinds of business, whether they have integration with the cloud or not, azure cloud users receive the product a bit more cheaply than competitor customers.


Nextcloud made their complaint public to support the "Coalition for a level playing field." Microsoft recently acquired game developer Activision Blizzard Inc. for $75 billion. This kind of deal is made by Microsoft now and then. How do they make this kind of purchase look like a habit?


Microsoft is cutting down the cost of in-house products integrated with Azure. They are bringing in more revenue than competitors by cutting them where it can hurt the most. Microsoft offers a quality batch of products and services; there is no denying that. OVHcloud first faced stiff completion from the US cloud providers, where they managed to gather initial information about ongoings.


Microsoft shared their opinion on the matter. "Cloud providers enjoy many options to provide cloud services to their customers using Microsoft software." Also added, they're "continuously evaluating" to best support partners and making their product lineup available for all customers.


Since the antitrust took place, OVH Groupe SAS (OVH) shares were down by 7.21 per cent. OVHcloud filing was mutual with "several companies", but they were not interested in sharing the names. Governments worldwide are trying to keep large companies in check, even though their infrastructure is too vast.


Big U.S. tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple constantly go under regulations. European policymakers are keen on keeping the principle in check and guaranteeing a level playing field.


Microsoft does not have a dominant market share; the title goes to AWS. But Microsoft's enterprise and business suits are top of the line. The bind has a historical strength in business application areas and now has one of the fastest-growing cloud businesses.

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