August 9, 2022
Anti-competitive practices of cloud computing providers must be curbed by EU technical regulations: Study

European Union rules to curb the power of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet unit Google and Facebook should deal with providers of cloud computing services for potential anti-competitive practices, a study said on Tuesday. The report comes amid concerns that some EU lawmakers reviewing the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager may be too lenient towards cloud computing companies.

Amazon’s Amazon Web Services was the leading provider in the second quarter, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, market research company Statista found. Others include IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Salesforce and Oracle.

Friedrich Janney, chairman of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Competition’s Committee for Development, put together the study in his personal capacity for the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers (CISPE), the trade body in Europe.

Software licensing should also be included in the new EU rules, the report said, with respondents citing unfair conditions imposed by some large software companies to access their cloud infrastructure.

“The DMA states that cloud infrastructure may be covered by the DMA, but it is not clear that all suppliers are covered,” Jenny told Reuters in an interview.

“For example, it does not appear that Google Cloud qualifies as Gatekeeper or IBM Cloud or Salesforce under the DMA.”

Potential anti-competitive practices by some companies could include unfair pricing techniques or attempts to make the move of users technically difficult, he said.

Jenny said the study interviewed some 25 companies using cloud computing services, some of which cited issues such as unfair license terms, which could force customers to use the software they already have when moving to a competitor. Force you to pay again.

Defendants were also concerned about providers that bundle software products with their cloud infrastructures to make rival products less attractive or more expensive.

Google, Oracle and SAP declined to comment. Microsoft and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

EU lawmakers will likely have to draft DMAs with EU countries before it becomes law in 2023.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.