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Google Cloud says Microsoft is seeking cloud computing monopoly - Reuters

Published 26/02/2024, 21:38
Updated 26/02/2024, 21:38
© Reuters.

Google Cloud, a division of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), stepped up its critique of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) cloud computing tactics on Monday, expressing concerns over Windows maker’s potential monopolistic behaviors, Reuters reported.

According to Google Cloud, Microsoft’s practices could impede the advancement of nascent technologies, including generative artificial intelligence, the report says.

The move comes as Microsoft, along with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), faces increasing scrutiny from regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States for their dominant positions in the cloud computing sector.

Google positions itself as the third-largest provider in this highly competitive market, trailing behind the leading duo.

The heightened attention towards Microsoft's strategic partnership with OpenAI, the entity behind ChatGPT, further amplifies these concerns.

"We worry about Microsoft wanting to flex their decade-long practices where they had a lot of monopoly on the on-premise software before and now they are trying to push that into cloud now," Amit Zavery, Google Cloud’s Vice President told Reuters.

"So they are creating this whole walled garden, which is completely controlled and owned by Microsoft, and customers who want to do any of this stuff, you have to go to Microsoft only," he said.

"If Microsoft cloud doesn't remain open, we will have issues and long-term problems, even in next generation technologies like AI as well, because Microsoft is forcing customers to go to Azure in many ways," Zavery said, referring to Microsoft's cloud computing platform.

Moreover, Zavery called for intervention from antitrust authorities, saying they should offer guidance and perhaps introduce rules to curb Microsoft's approach to expanding its Azure cloud business and prevent the extension of its on-premise dominance into cloud monopolization.

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He also took issue with Microsoft's contracts with specific cloud providers, arguing that they overlook wider concerns.

Last month, the trade association CISPE announced it was negotiating with Microsoft to address its EU antitrust complaint regarding the company's licensing practices in cloud computing.

Microsoft denied Zavery’s claims.

"We have listened to and work constructively and directly with independent cloud providers to change our licensing terms, addressing their concerns and providing more opportunity for them. Worldwide, more than 100 cloud providers have already taken advantage of these changes," a company’s spokesperson said.

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