The association of cloud infrastructure providers in Europe, CISPE, revealed on November 9 that it had filed a complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition. The association believes that the American company is taking advantage of its dominant position in the field of productivity software to direct its customers to Azure, its cloud services, and complicate their access to its competitors.
Microsoft shows its good will, the CISPE wants something concrete
CISPE, of which Amazon Web Services is a member, explained that it acted in support of two others, OVHcloud, which filed a complaint in the summer of 2021 and the Italian cloud provider Aruba. Francisco Minorante, secretary general of the association, said, ” We filed this industry complaint to rectify harm suffered by vendors and customers due to unfair software licensing practices “.
Concretely, Microsoft is criticized for its licensing policy, which would make the use of competing clouds more expensive. OVH also suspects that Microsoft products work less well on other clouds than its own.
The American company said to itself ” committed to addressing valid licensing concerns and supporting a competitive environment where all vendors can thrive “. According to the Wall Street Journalrepresentatives of Microsoft have multiplied meetings with the European regulatory authorities and its competitors, in order to promise changes in the right direction.
Efforts deemed insufficient by the CISPE, which considers that Microsoft has not provided sufficient assurance to ” promptly end its anti-competitive licensing practices “. An update, proposed in early October, was supposed to give cloud providers and their customers more leeway, is also pointed out, ” new contractual terms unilaterally imposed by Microsoft on October 1, 2022 add new unfair practices to the list “.
Suggestions for moving in the right direction
The CISPE added to its complaint proposals to improve Microsoft’s relationship with its competitors. She suggests monitoring the group’s best practices by respecting the 10 principles for fair software licensing. These principles were enacted by CISPE and Cigref, bringing together several large French companies and public administrations, under the patronage of Cédric O, then Secretary of State in charge of digital. These principles have been adopted in Europe and beyond.
The association also evoked the possibility of creating an independent European observatory, to carry out regular audits on the conditions of software licenses of the dominant companies.
The computer world reports that OVH is still waiting for news from the European Commission, but that the file is under investigation.