HomeWinBuzzer NewsGoogle Calls for Regulatory Action Against Microsoft's Alleged Anti-Competitive Practices

Google Calls for Regulatory Action Against Microsoft’s Alleged Anti-Competitive Practices

Google accuses Microsoft of unfair cloud practices, fearing a dominant "walled garden" similar to its past software dominance.

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Google has escalated its ongoing concern regarding Microsoft’s position in the cloud market, alleging anticompetitive practices and calling for regulatory intervention. Amit Zavery, Vice President of Google Cloud, told Reuters the company’s apprehensions that Microsoft’s licensing arrangements and business strategies could potentially establish a monopoly similar to its dominant stance in the on-premises software market. Despite Google’s control over more than 80% of search traffic, it considers itself an underdog in the cloud sector, trailing behind Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba Cloud with a 7.5% global market share based on data from Gartner.

Concerns Over Licensing and Market Access

The core of Google’s grievance lies in Microsoft’s licensing practices. Zavery highlighted how these practices might detour or exponentially increase the costs of deploying Microsoft’s software on competing cloud platforms, thus incentivizing users toward Azure. He criticized the “walled garden” approach as being overly restrictive and without technical justification, accusing Microsoft of imposing up to a 300 percent increase in costs for customers choosing alternative clouds.

These tactics, according to Google, could significantly hinder competition and innovation, particularly in the emerging artificial intelligence (AI) sector. Google has previously called on regulators in the UK to investigate Microsoft’s cloud practices in the country. 

The Broader Implications for AI and Cloud Services

Google’s move to publicize its concerns comes at a critical juncture as the tech industry seeks to integrate generative AI models into products and services. The emphasis on keeping cloud infrastructure open is crucial for fostering innovation and competition within AI and beyond. Microsoft’s aggressive integration of OpenAI’s models into its suite of products has been matched by Google’s own developments in AI and workspace solutions. Nonetheless, Google’s stance is also exposing it to greater scrutiny from regulators who are already probing the cloud services market in response to Google’s and, to some extent, AWS’s complaints.

In response to the growing antitrust rhetoric, regulatory bodies in the US, UK, and EU have launched investigations into Microsoft and other cloud service providers, drawing attention to the competitive dynamics of the broader cloud market. While Google’s call for action ostensibly aims at curbing what it sees as Microsoft’s anticompetitive behavior, it also reflects the intense rivalry and strategic maneuvering inherent in the tech industry’s quest for dominance in the lucrative cloud and AI markets.

SourceReuters
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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