Having been embroiled in a number of antitrust legislations itself, Google is now trying to get Microsoft to face the same music that they have been dancing to.
Google has urged Britain’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to take action against Microsoft, alleging that the company’s business practices create a significant disadvantage for competitors, as per a report by Reuters.
In a letter Google claimed that Microsoft’s licensing practices discouraged customers from using rival services, leaving them with no economically reasonable alternative to Microsoft’s Azure.
The CMA initiated an investigation into Britain’s cloud computing industry in October, following concerns raised by media regulator Ofcom about the dominance of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure.
In 2022, AWS and Azure held a combined 70-80 per cent share of the UK’s public cloud infrastructure services market, with Google’s cloud division being their closest competitor at around 5-10 per cent.
According to Google’s letter to the CMA, Microsoft’s licensing restrictions force UK customers to use Azure even if they prefer the prices, quality, security, innovations, and features offered by rivals.
Google argued that such practices directly harm customers and constitute a significant barrier to competition in Britain’s cloud computing market.
Microsoft updated its licensing rules last year in an attempt to address concerns and promote competition, but Google and other rivals were not satisfied with the changes.
A Microsoft spokesperson stated that the company had worked with independent cloud providers to address concerns and provide opportunities, with over 100 worldwide taking advantage of the changes.
Google Cloud Vice President Amit Zavery criticized Microsoft’s practices and emphasized Google’s commitment to a multi-cloud approach, allowing customers to easily move between providers based on their needs.
Google made six recommendations to the CMA, including improving interoperability for customers using Azure and other cloud services and preventing Microsoft from withholding security updates for those that switch.