Amazon slams Microsoft over Azure cloud market dominance in UK amidst investigation

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Amazon has criticized Microsoft for its dominant position in the UK cloud market, accusing it of using its licensing practices to make it difficult for businesses to switch to other providers.

The criticism comes as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating Microsoft’s licensing practices, which it says could harm competition and innovation.

The letter is dated November 23, 2023, but the CMA has just published it recently

“Some IT providers, such as Microsoft, use licensing practices that restrict customer choice and make switching more difficult. For example, Microsoft changed its licensing terms in 2019 and again in 2022 to make it more difficult for customers to run some of its popular software offerings on Google Cloud, AWS, and Alibaba,” the letter reads.

Amazon, which also dominates the cloud market in the UK with AWS (Amazon Web Services), joins the likes of Google which had first criticized the Redmond-based tech giant over its apparent monopoly attempt last week. 

“To use many of Microsoft’s software products with these other cloud services providers, a customer must purchase a separate license even if they already own the software. This often makes it financially unviable for a customer to choose a provider other than Microsoft,” it continues.

The CMA has been closely investigating the UK’s overall cloud computing industry since October.

Not too long ago, AWS boss Adam Selipsky also blasted Microsoft over its Azure AI strategy, especially for its close alliance with OpenAI. Speaking during Amazon’s annual Reinvent conference, Selipski said that AWS provides more flexibility than other cloud providers.