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UK Watchdog Eyes Google, Amazon, Microsoft In Antitrust Probe

 |  September 22, 2022

Media regulators are looking into whether large US tech companies including Amazon and Google have formed a monopoly over cloud computing in Britain, officials said Thursday.

Britain’s media watchdog agency Ofcom announced the investigation and said it will look into whether the two companies and Microsoft may have an unfair competitive advantage in the cloud services industry.

“Because the cloud sector is still evolving, we will look at how the market is working today and how we expect it to develop in the future — aiming to identify any potential competition concerns early to prevent them becoming embedded as the market matures,” the agency said in a statement, according to the Evening Standard.

Specifically in the crosshairs of the inquiry are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, all of which dominate global cloud storage services — a powerful tool that allows businesses to store data on remote servers accessible from anywhere as opposed to localized hard drives.

Depending on the findings of the investigation, the agency could take further action to rein in the corporate behemoths.

Other popular digital tools are also on the watchdog’s radar, including Meta’s WhatsApp, Apple’s Zoom and FaceTime and virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa — services that so far have seen little, if any, regulatory oversight.

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