Google requests UK’s CMA to probe Microsoft’s cloud business

Up above the clouds so high.

Google logo amidst the clouds and skies via pawel-czerwinski-unsplash.
Image by: Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash.

It appears Google has petitioned the UK’s CMA to pursue action against Microsoft over what it deems unfair cloud computing practises. Google accuses the Windows company of using questionable business tactics that leaves competitors at a significant disadvantage. Oh my, here we go again.

Reuters obtained Google’s letter of complaint, detailing its grievances. According to the document, Microsoft’s licensing practises unfairly discourage customers from using independent cloud services. Even if these competitors serve as a secondary provider alongside Azure.

“With Microsoft’s licensing restrictions in particular, UK customers are left with no economically reasonable alternative but to use Azure as their cloud services provider, even if they prefer the prices, quality, security, innovations, and features of rivals,” Google explains.

Google’s solution

As a result, Google reportedly made several recommendations to the CMA. Of note, it requests the anti-trust watchdog demands Microsoft to improve interoperability between Azure and other cloud alternatives. Another highlight was to ensure the Redmond giant would have no option to block software security improvements for anyone that choose to switch their services from Azure. Both equally fair and reasonable solutions.

Surprisingly, this comes after Microsoft was forced to make amends to its licencing agreement after a successful EU investigation. However, Google argues that those changes were simply not enough to ensure healthy and fair competition.

It argues that certain types of Microsoft’s software remain woefully incompatible with major platforms that rival Azure. This could be a huge no-no if the UK’s main goal is a multi-cloud approach that doesn’t stifle the growth of smaller cloud competitors.

The CMA has yet to provide comment regarding the situation. Of note, Ofcom shared that Amazon and Microsoft owns a combined 70%-80% of the UK’s cloud computing market share. A large portion indeed.