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EU Goes After Microsoft’s Cloud Services

 |  March 16, 2022

French cloud-computing company OVHcloud has filed an antitrust complaint in Europe against Microsoft Corp., adding to recent criticism of the competitive practices at a company that has largely avoided the recent regulatory scrutiny aimed at rival tech giants.

OVHcloud said it filed the complaint with the European Commission, the European Union’s top competition regulator. The complaint focuses on the way Microsoft licenses its products, such as its Office productivity suite, that may make it more expensive to use cloud services.

The complaint, which OVHcloud filed last summer but which hasn’t previously been reported, also alleges that Microsoft’s software doesn’t work as well on other cloud services, making it harder for them to compete, the people said.

“Through abusing its dominant position, Microsoft undermines fair competition and limits consumer choice in the cloud computing services market,” said a spokeswoman for OVHcloud, whose formal name is OVH Groupe SAS.

“Cloud providers enjoy many options to provide cloud services to their customers using Microsoft software, whether purchased by the customer or the partner,” the Microsoft spokesman said in a statement. “We’re continuously evaluating how we can best support partners and make Microsoft software available to customers across all environments, including those of other cloud providers.”

OVHcloud said the complaint was filed jointly with “several companies.” It wouldn’t name the other companies.

As governments around the world have gone after big tech companies, Microsoft has not been at the center of attention. The company has positioned itself as having learned from its own antitrust battles two decades ago when the US Department of Justice and the EU sued the company for its business practices.

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