Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Microsoft gives to vary cloud licensing practices to keep away from EU antitrust probe, says report

Microsoft has reportedly agreed to vary its cloud computing practices to be able to keep away from an antitrust probe from the European Fee, the EU’s antitrust authority.

The potential probe pertains to complaints made by European cloud corporations together with Aruba, OVHcloud, Danish Cloud Neighborhood and the Affiliation of Cloud Infrastructure Service Suppliers (CISPE) about modifications Microsoft first made to the phrases of its outsourcing license settlement in 2019, after which modified once more in 2022.

The cloud distributors raised considerations after their clients have been requested to pay extra to run Microsoft software program in non-Microsoft cloud environments, underneath what they noticed as restrictive cloud licensing insurance policies.

Because of these licensing modifications, on November 9, 2022, CISPE filed a proper grievance with the European Fee’s Directorate-Normal for Competitors (DG Comp) stating: “Microsoft makes use of its dominance in productiveness software program to direct European clients to its personal Azure cloud infrastructure to the detriment of European cloud infrastructure suppliers and customers of IT providers.”

Now, to be able to keep away from one other antitrust probe by the EU Fee, Microsoft has supplied to vary its cloud computing practices to settle antitrust complaints filed by smaller rivals, an individual with direct information of the matter advised Reuters.

The European Fee refused to touch upon the information, whereas Aruba, CISPE, the Danish Cloud Neighborhood, and OVHcloud didn’t reply to requests for remark.

CISPE plans to pursue its grievance. A spokesperson for CISPE advised Reuters, “We’ve had an preliminary dialogue with Microsoft, however haven’t seen something that implies modifications that may be sure that all European clients have the prospect to run the software program they need within the cloud of their selection freed from unfair licence phrases or discriminatory pricing.”

A Microsoft spokesperson wouldn’t talk about with Computerworld whether or not a deal had been reached with any of the complainants. “In October 2022, we launched modifications to our licensing practices that handle the suggestions that we heard from European cloud suppliers. We’re grateful for the productive conversations that led us there and respect the suggestions that now we have obtained since. We’re dedicated to the European Cloud Neighborhood and their success,” the Microsoft spokesperson stated.

Microsoft is not any stranger to the EU Fee’s antitrust rulings. In 2004 the corporate paid a $611 million high-quality after it was discovered it responsible of illegally bundling media participant software program with Home windows XP. A further $731 million high-quality was levelled towards the corporate in 2013 for bundling its Web Explorer browser with Home windows 7.

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of video games studio Activision Blizzard can also be at the moment underneath scrutiny by the EU Fee, in addition to the Competitors Market Authorities (CMA) within the UK and the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) within the US.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.



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