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Microsoft must do more to resolve antitrust complaints, rivals say, as EU regulators consider investigation


German software company NextCloud said Microsoft’s initial bid to address antitrust complaints made by European Union competitors was insufficient and that the US software giant needed to do more, as regulators consider whether to launch a formal investigation.

One person familiar with the matter said that French cloud computing services provider and complainant OVHcloud is also waiting for a more concrete offer from Microsoft.

Resolving complaints with the companies could help Microsoft avoid a possible EU antitrust investigation that could result in a fine of up to 10 percent of its global sales.

Nextcloud took its complaint to the European Commission in 2021, alleging that Microsoft abused its dominance by bundling cloud storage service OneDrive with Windows 10 and 11.

Nextcloud CEO Frank Karlicek said on Wednesday that Microsoft, which has been hit with more than 1.6 billion euros (about Rs. 13,980 crores) in antitrust fines in the European Union in the past decade, arrived a year ago but did not talk about aggregation issues. .

“I would be interested in further talks, but it has to be a serious conversation,” he told Reuters.

Complaints from OVHcloud, Italian cloud service provider Aruba and the Danish Association of Cloud Service Providers focused on Microsoft’s cloud practices and licensing deals.

Microsoft said it made changes to its licensing practices in October last year that addressed feedback from European cloud providers.

“We’re grateful for the productive conversations that led us there and appreciate the feedback we’ve received since,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Aruba and the Danish Cloud Community declined to comment.

Microsoft reached out last week to offer to discuss the changes, said a spokesperson for the CISPE trade group, which filed a complaint about the company’s cloud computing practices with the commission last year.

Cispe members include cloud computing market leader

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.