A group of cloud players attack Microsoft in front of the European Commission

The Association of Cloud Infrastructure Providers in Europe, CISPE, revealed on November 9 that it had filed a complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition. The association believes that the US company is exploiting its dominant position in productivity software to direct its customers to Azure, its cloud services, and complicate their access to its competitors.

Microsoft shows its good will, CISPE wants something concrete

CISPE, of which Amazon Web Services is a member, explained that it was acting in support of two others, OVHcloud, which filed a complaint in the summer of 2021, and Italian cloud provider Aruba. Francisco Minorante, general secretary of the association, said, ” We filed this industry complaint to redress damages suffered by suppliers and customers due to unfair software licensing practices “.

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Specifically, Microsoft is criticized for its licensing policy, which would make the use of competing clouds more expensive. OVH also suspects that Microsoft products work less well on clouds other than their own.

The American company said to itself “ committed to resolving valid licensing issues and supporting a competitive environment where all vendors can thrive “. According to The Wall Street Journalrepresentatives of Microsoft have multiplied meetings with European regulators and its competitors to promise changes in the right direction.

Efforts deemed insufficient by CISPE, which believes that Microsoft has not provided sufficient assurance that ” immediately end its anti-competitive licensing practices “. An update proposed at the beginning of October should give cloud providers and their customers more leeway, it is also pointed out, ” new contract terms unilaterally imposed by Microsoft on October 1, 2022 add new unfair practices to the list “.

Suggestions to move in the right direction

CISPE added its complaint proposals to improve Microsoft’s relationship with its competitors. She suggests monitoring the group’s best practices by respecting the 10 Principles of Fair Software Licensing. These principles were adopted by CISPE and Cigref, which brings together several large French companies and public administrations under the patronage of Cédric O, then Minister of State for Digitization. These principles have been adopted in and outside Europe.

The association also raised the possibility of setting up an independent European observatory to carry out regular audits of the software licensing conditions of the dominant companies.

The computer world reports that OVH is still waiting for news from the EU Commission, but that the matter is under investigation.

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