Google and Microsoft are locked in a battle that is moving across search, productivity, and web browsers with both companies in a race for AI dominance. In Europe, Google says the changes Microsoft made for cloud vendors to appease regulators are not good enough. Reuters reports that Google Cloud President Amit Zavery says Microsoft is still using anti-competition practices.
Microsoft has reportedly agreed to make changes that will benefit smaller cloud vendors in Europe. However, Google argues Microsoft is cherry-picking which vendors it will make deals with because it wants to control the market. In other words, Google accuses Microsoft of not making meaningful changes and just paying lip service to regulators.
“Microsoft definitely has a very anti-competitive posture in cloud. They are leveraging a lot of their dominance in the on-premise business as well as Office 365 and Windows to tie Azure and the rest of cloud services and make it hard for customers to have a choice.”
Microsoft did respond to the comment by sending Reuters a link to a May 2022 blog post and the following simple statement:
“We are committed to the European Cloud Community and their success.”
Microsoft's Cloud Concessions
Microsoft Cloud is making changes to how it works in Europe by overhauling the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider partner program. The company announced its intentions in May last year before rolling out changes in October. Concessions came in the wake of a European Commission investigation.
In a blog post, Microsoft President Brad Smith points to the following changes that focus on giving more abilities to service providers in Europe:
- Allow them (cloud service providers) to host Microsoft Office, Windows, Microsoft 365 and Windows 11 apps on their own infrastructure.
- Permit hosting of Windows and Office builds that were bought from Microsoft partners.
- Provide access to Microsoft products at “fixed pricing for longer terms”.
Even after those changes, the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE) said in November that Microsoft is restricting choice to prevent rivals from growing in favor of its own Azure cloud platform. It seems that Google agrees, with Zavery saying Microsoft is picking deals and even acquiring small vendors to shore up the market.
“Whatever they're offering, there should be terms across for everybody, not just for one or two they've chosen and pick, and that shows you that they have so much market power they can kind of go and do those things individually.”
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