Tech companies along with Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google, have lodged complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding alleged unfair business practices in the cloud. These grievances also include Microsoft (MSFT.O), the industry’s second-largest player by market share.
The comments, which had a deadline of Wednesday, are in response to a request made by the U.S. agency in March, seeking information on security issues and competition within the profitable market of data storage and computing power, commonly known as the cloud.
These complaints arise amidst global scrutiny, including a recent investigation by Europe’s antitrust authority into Microsoft’s licensing agreements, which allegedly discouraged the usage of rival cloud services. The industry has also faced criticism for the fees imposed on data extraction from various cloud providers.
One of the public comments, provided by trade group NetChoice, specifically targeted Microsoft and Oracle (ORCL.N). NetChoice stated, “Despite the presence of robust competition in the cloud industry, a few vendors employ anticompetitive practices to solidify their positions, often by impeding customers from switching providers to seek lower costs, stronger service offerings, and more innovative solutions for their businesses.” NetChoice’s members include leading market player Amazon.com (AMZN.O), Meta Platforms (META.O), Google, and other smaller tech companies.
Google echoed similar concerns in its own submission, stating that “licensing terms enforced by Microsoft, Oracle, and other traditional on-premises software providers distort competition in the cloud.”