Microsoft has received a complaint concerning cloud practices from Spanish entrepreneurs

Microsoft has received a complaint concerning cloud practices from Spanish entrepreneurs
Microsoft has received a complaint concerning cloud practices from Spanish entrepreneurs

Microsoft blasted a Spanish startup group’s complaint against its cloud methods to the Spanish antitrust authorities on Tuesday, the latest protest over its rapidly growing cloud computing services.

Microsoft (MSFT.O) was slammed with a Spanish startup group’s complaint over its cloud tactics to the Spanish antitrust regulator on Tuesday, the latest grievance over its fast-growing cloud computing services, following a trade group’s EU protest.

The US tech behemoth now ranks second in the cloud computing industry, trailing market leader Amazon (AMZN.O.), but is anticipated to close the gap quickly as a slew of generative AI features powered by OpenAI’s technology entice business users.

The Spanish Startup Association, which represents over 700 businesses in Spain, noted Microsoft’s alleged anti-competitive conduct in previous years.

“Microsoft has not only taken advantage of the dominant position in the markets of operating systems (Windows) and traditional productivity software (Microsoft Office, Windows Server, and SQL Server) to force the use of its Azure cloud, but they have also imposed artificial barriers that limit the ability of startups to compete fairly and competitively,” the complaint stated.

“These practices include barriers to data portability or contractual conditions that restrict competition in software licenses, preventing the free choice of providers of these services, and reducing the capacity for choice and flexibility that startups need to be able to be resilient, innovate, and grow,” said the report.

Microsoft defended its cloud operations.

“Microsoft provides choice and flexibility for our customers to switch to another cloud provider at no cost, and our licensing terms enable our customers and other cloud providers to run and offer Microsoft software on every  cloud,” according to a spokeswoman.

“We will engage with the Spanish Startup Association to learn more about its concerns.”

The group urged the Spanish competition watchdog to conduct an inquiry and take immediate steps to ensure a competitive market.

“We believe that all companies should be able to compete in an equal environment so that they are not left behind, whether as customers or providers of this technology,” said Carlos Mateo, president of the Spanish Startup Association, in a statement.

Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE), which includes Amazon, filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators in November about Microsoft’s new contract conditions, which went into effect on October 1, as well as other activities, alleging that they were damaging the European cloud computing ecosystem.

As part of its probe, the European Commission has asked cloud rivals about Microsoft’s request for client data, and the UK Competition and Markets Authority is also looking into the industry.

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