“We got the message” launched Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, on Wednesday, May 18, in Brussels, where the American company is the subject of a complaint for abuse of a dominant position. “Some of the concerns of European cloud players are justified”, the manager admitted. The French company OVH, author of the request to the European Commission, accuses the group of giving its market-leading office software, Office 365, more expensive and more restrictive licenses to hosts that, like it, do not resell Microsoft cloud services.
Microsoft therefore announced concessions. “We are changing the terms of our licenses so that European cloud providers can run our software on their servers just like we do ourselves.”, said Mr. Smith, while acknowledging that certain details needed to be clarified with the players in the ecosystem. It is a ” first step “, he assessed. European cloud companies also now get access to “a dedicated support team”, added Mr. Smith. Ultimately, these changes are meant to be extended to the entire world.
“We have not paid enough attention to the smaller players in the sector, pleaded Microsoft’s public affairs specialist. One executive told me he felt like a secondary victim of our battle with Amazon. » The world number two in the cloud (20%) would have focused on leader Amazon (33%) and on Google, “rising” (10%), while European companies fell (21% to 16% in four years). The argument joins the argument of the French OVH or Whaller. For them, Microsoft uses the strong position of Office 365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Teams, etc.) or Windows to strengthen its position in hosting and “cloud” services.
What does OVH think about accommodations? “Microsoft recognizes the merits of our complaint, and we consider it regrettable that it is necessary to go so far as to mobilize the authorities to ensure the conditions for a market where competition is both free and healthy.” responds the French company. We are now waiting to see the concrete conditions for exercising these resolutions and remain determined to defend a level playing field for the European cloud ecosystem. » To appease the European Commission, the compromises will not necessarily prevent it from opening an investigation. A fine in compensation for previous offenses is possible.
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