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CISPE Denies Nearing EU Settlement with Microsoft Over Antitrust Complaint

 |  June 2, 2024

The European trade group CISPE (Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe) has denied reports that it is on the brink of a settlement with Microsoft regarding its antitrust complaint with the European Commission. The complaint, filed in late 2022, alleges that Microsoft’s new cloud computing licensing practices are detrimental to the European cloud ecosystem.

CISPE, which counts Amazon and 26 smaller European cloud providers among its members, refuted a Politico report suggesting that Microsoft was nearing a multi-million euro deal to resolve the dispute. “These rumors are incorrect,” CISPE stated in response to inquiries from Reuters. “Discussions between CISPE and Microsoft are ongoing, and while proposals have been made, no agreement has been reached.”

According to CISPE, any potential agreement must be approved by the association’s General Assembly, comprising 34 European cloud providers from over 14 EU Member States. The group emphasized that no settlement had been accepted and discussions were still in progress.

Read more: The Microsoft Litigation’s Lessons for United States v. Google

The Politico report also mentioned that separate payments might be made to individual companies, citing unnamed sources. This adds a layer of complexity to the negotiations, indicating that a resolution may still be some distance away.

Microsoft, Amazon, and the European Commission have not provided comments on the report outside regular business hours. Earlier reports by Reuters confirmed that Microsoft had been in talks with CISPE to address the antitrust concerns.

CISPE’s complaint highlights significant issues with Microsoft’s cloud practices, stating that “Microsoft’s ongoing position and behaviours are irreparably damaging the European cloud ecosystem and depriving European customers of choice in their cloud deployments.” Resolving these issues bilaterally could help Microsoft avoid a potentially lengthy and costly EU investigation, which might result in fines and enforced changes to its business practices.

Source: Reuters