EU: no worries about competition in the cloud

Amazon and Microsoft can breathe a sigh of relief – for now.

Two of the largest providers of cloud computing networks are not concerned about competition, the European Union’s competition commissioner told Reuters on Monday (March 28).

“No, so far we have not been concerned,” Margrethe Vestager told the news channel when asked if she was suffering from potential abuse from their dominance.

Driven by COVID-19, cloud computing services have skyrocketed in demand and have been a key driver of growth at major tech companies.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which calls itself the world’s most comprehensive and widely adopted cloud platform, generated 13% of Amazon’s revenue and 74% of its business revenue in 2021. Azure, Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud unit, collected 37% of total revenue.

Vestager said the giant tech companies should thank Gaia-X. Developed in Europe, the project is a global software framework that implements control and governance standards that can be applied to a cloud technology network. It promises transparency, accountability, portability and interoperability between data and services.

Gaia-X, she said, aims to reduce the EU’s reliance on Silicon Valley giants and boost competition.

“…I actually see it as pro-competitive when you have someone to show potential customers that there are more than two giants where you can place your business,” Vestager said.

Yet the power of the giant tech companies has still raised concerns among smaller companies.

In December, PYMNTS reported that Microsoft could face a legal battle after the self-hosted productivity platform Nextcloud, backed by a coalition of 30 European companies, filed a complaint with the EU and German antitrust authorities over Microsoft’s bundling of OneDrive with Windows.

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In the complaint, the Berlin-based software maker said Microsoft is bundling its OneDrive cloud, Teams and other services with Windows 10 and 11, which could lure users into the Microsoft 365 cloud without considering alternatives.


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