Microsoft Faces Antitrust Complaint in Europe

On Wednesday, the European industry group Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers (CISPE) filed a complaint against Microsoft over its cloud computing practices with the European Commission.

Microsoft Faces Antitrust Complaint in Europe
Image credit:File Photo [via Reuters]

Facts

  • On Wednesday, the European industry group Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers (CISPE) filed a complaint against Microsoft over its cloud computing practices with the European Commission.
  • CISPE, which features Amazon as a member, alleges that Microsoft uses its dominance in productivity software to direct customers in Europe to its Azure cloud service and makes it difficult for customers to switch to other providers.
  • The complaint also argues that Microsoft's new contractual terms implemented on Oct. 1, along with other practices, damage the European cloud computing ecosystem.
  • A Microsoft spokesperson commented on the complaint, saying, “the licensing changes we introduced this October give customers and cloud providers around the world even more options for running and offering our software in the cloud."
  • This comes amid further antitrust concerns regarding the company's $69B bid for "Call of Duty" video game maker Activision Blizzard. The European Commission opened a probe into the acquisition on Tuesday, with a decision expected by March 2023.
  • The EU Commission has fined Microsoft more than $1.6B over the last decade for antitrust violations.

Sources: Reuters, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News, Euractiv, and Yahoo! News.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by AntiTrust. American Big Tech is harming EU consumers and businesses, and it's time the EU takes a stand. Microsoft is integrating its software deeper and deeper into its service and software portfolio, including Windows, making it almost impossible to compete. Meanwhile, other tech giants like Google and Amazon are doing the same thing. European consumers should have a free choice, and competition should be fair.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Americans for Tax Reform. Under the guise of promoting competition, the European Commission has launched a full-scale assault on American companies, and this recent antitrust case is just the latest example. This self-destructive strategy will only hurt Europe's consumers and tech industry, which won't be able to fill the void left once the EU successfully severs the once-friendly ties between American businesses and the European market.

Predictions