Microsoft is facing an antitrust suit in Europe over its cloud services.

The trade group CISPE, whose members include Amazon, filed a complaint with the European Union.

The suit alleges Microsoft’s new contractual terms, which took effect on October 1, are anti-competitive.

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CISPE has claimed the terms along with other practices are irreparably damaging the European cloud computing ecosystem.

Amazon leads the cloud computing market, followed by Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google.

CISPE secretary general Francisco Mingorance said: “Leveraging its dominance in productivity software, Microsoft restricts choice and inflates costs as European customers look to move to the cloud, thus distorting Europe’s digital economy.”

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The company allegedly leverages its monopoly in productivity software to push European customers to its Azure cloud Infrastructure hindering other European rivals.

Its alleged anti-competitive behaviors were discriminatory bundling and tying of its products, self-preference pricing, and locking in customers on the technical and competitive levels.

In the previous decade, the Commission fined the tech giant more than 1.6 billion euros ($1.6 billion) for multiple antitrust infractions.

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However, Microsoft stated that it is dedicated to addressing legitimate licensing issues and fostering a competitive market.

A company spokesperson said: “The licensing changes we introduced in October give customers and cloud providers around the world even more options for running and offering our software in the cloud.”

Similar complaints were lodged with the Commission by cloud service providers in Germany, Italy, Denmark, and France, two of which are CISPE members.

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In response to EU antitrust concerns, Microsoft changed licensing deals and did other changes to make it easier for cloud service providers to compete from October 1.

The changes are not applicable to competitors including Amazon, Google, Alibaba, and Microsoft’s own cloud services.

CISPE said the EU competition regulator should address the issue by adopting the trade body’s fair software licensing standards developed last year for Microsoft.

It urged that an independent European Observatory be formed to audit the licensing terms of dominant software corporations.

Source: Reuters

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