UK Regulator Probes Microsoft Cloud Services Anew

Another day, another probe by the CMA.

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The UK Regulator will once again probe Microsoft Cloud Services.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority is currently closing up the extended investigation into Microsoft of its Activision Blizzard deal, which focuses on the deal’s impact on cloud gaming. It seems this would have been a done deal already, but now a new investigation is being launched.

UK’s Communications Regulator, Ofcom, has now referred to the public cloud infrastructure services market to the CMA for investigation over competition concerns. Only this time, Microsoft is not alone in getting investigated.

This time around, Microsoft and Amazon are being investigated over fees and technical barriers to prevent customers changing cloud supplier, and deep discounts to price-out alternatives. Ofcom also stated that it had heard concerns about “the software licensing practices of some cloud providers, in particular Microsoft.”

CMA Chief Sarah Cardell said in a statement that the cloud market is important and its need for strong competition within it.

“We welcome Ofcom’s referral of public cloud infrastructure services to us for in-depth scrutiny,” Cardell said. “This is a £7.5bn market that underpins a whole host of online services – from social media to AI foundation models. Many businesses now completely rely on cloud services, making effective competition in this market essential.”