Why do 700 Spanish startups want Microsoft investigated over cloud computing?

South Africa also wanted to take Microsoft to court over the same reason

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Key notes

  • Spanish startups want Microsoft to be investigated over alleged anti-competitive practices in cloud computing.
  • Complaint includes claims of forced Azure use and artificial barriers to competition.
  • Over 700 startups call for investigation; Microsoft yet to respond.

Microsoft is no stranger to lawsuits, especially those involving antitrust regulators. Not too long after South Africa took the Redmond tech giant to court, a group of Spanish startup companies is now complaining against Microsoft. 

Reuters exclusively revealed on Tuesday that Spain alleged Microsoft over anti-competitive practices in the cloud computing market. According to the Spanish Startup Organization, Microsoft is taking advantage of its dominant position to force the use of Azure cloud and impose artificial barriers that limit competition.

“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, reducing the capacity for choice and flexibility that startups need to be able to be resilient, innovate and grow,” the complaint reads.

The organization, which shields over 700 startups, is now calling for a competition watchdog to launch an investigation, and Microsoft has yet to make a comment. 

While Microsoft is the first large cloud provider to keep all personal data within the European Data Boundary, the Redmond company has been in hot water in the EU over cloud practices in recent months. Not to mention a total of at least $1.8 billion in EU fines it’s paid over multiple counts of antitrust violations.

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