Google Cloud Accuses Microsoft Of Conducting Anti-Competitive Practices In Cloud Computing Business

JAKARTA - Google Cloud accuses Microsoft of engaging in anti-competition practices in the field of cloud computing and criticizes the imminent agreement with several European cloud vendors. According to them, this does not solve a wider problem of licensing requirements.

In his first public comments on Microsoft and European deals, Google Cloud's Vice President, Amit Zavery, told Reuters the company had raised the issue with antitrust agencies and encouraged EU antitrust regulators to take a closer look.

In response, Microsoft referred to a blog post posted in May last year by President Brad Smith saying the company has a healthy second position in cloud services, with a market share of about 20% of global cloud service revenue.

"We are committed to the European Clouds Community and its success," a Microsoft spokesman told Reuters on Thursday, March 30.

There is fierce competition between the two US tech giants in the rapidly growing cloud computing business and worth billions of dollars, where Google lost to current market leaders Amazon and Microsoft.

The sector recently attracted the attention of larger regulatory oversight, including in the United States and Britain, due to the dominance of some players and its increasing critical role as more companies shift to cloud services.

Microsoft has offered to change its cloud computing practices in deals with some of its smaller competitors who will in turn suspend their antitrust complaint, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters this week.

This move will avoid EU investigations.

"Microsoft must have a very anti-competitive posture in the clouds. They take advantage of their dominance in the on-premise and Office 365 and Windows businesses to bind Azure and other cloud services and make it difficult for customers to choose other providers," Zavery said in an interview on Wednesday evening, March 29.

"When we talk to many of our customers, they find a lot of these binding practices, as well as the way they create price and license restrictions, making it difficult for them to choose other providers," he added.

Zavery said the individual deal reached with some of Europe's smaller cloud vendors only benefited Microsoft.

"They selectively buy one or two vendors who complain and don't make those terms available to everyone. So it definitely makes an unfair advantage for Microsoft and binds people who complain to returning to Microsoft in any way," Zavery said.

"Whatever they offer, there must be requirements for everyone, not just for one or two they choose, and it shows that they have so much market power that they can do these things individually," he explained.

"My point to regulators is that they have to look at this issue thoroughly, although one or two vendors may solve it not solve the wider problem. And that's the problem we need to solve, not individual problems from vendors."

The European Commission declined to comment on this.

Microsoft is still facing another EU antitrust complaint from CISPE, whose members include Amazon. This trading group rejects the changes made by Microsoft.

Zavery rejected suggestions that this issue was just a dispute between Google and Microsoft.

"The question is not about Google. I just want to make it very clear. It's about the cloud. Premise with the cloud is to have an open and flexible way to disseminate your software and give customers more choices so they can run their software anywhere they choose in an easier way," he said.