Cloud rivals are questioned by EU antitrust authorities

Reuters, May 19 – Brussels Six months after a trade group protested about Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) cloud computing practises, EU antitrust investigators are now inquiring about the types of customer data Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) competitors are compelled to give to the U.S. tech giant as part of its Azure cloud contracts.

The European cloud computing ecosystem, according to Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE), which includes Amazon (AMZN.O), was harmed by Microsoft’s revised contractual terms that went into effect on October 1.

The European Commission asked recipients of a questionnaire it issued to cloud service providers, which Reuters was able to view, for a list of contractual provisions mandating those companies to give Microsoft with information about their European clients.

According to a representative for the EU executive, “The Commission has received several complaints regarding Microsoft, including in relation to its product Azure, which we are assessing based on our standard procedures.”

The EU competition enforcer was interested in the frequency of the reporting, the time frame for which the data is required, the reporting method, and if Microsoft or an auditor receives the information directly.

The question of whether there were contractual, actual, or threatened repercussions for breaking these terms was put to the recipients, who had until this week to respond.

The EU authority questioned Microsoft about the possibility that it had used the data to contact the receivers’ consumers directly.

Microsoft declined to comment after receiving more than 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in EU fines over the previous ten years for numerous antitrust offences.

According to a person acquainted with the situation, it has made an offer to CISPE in an effort to resolve the conflict, and conversations are currently taking place.

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