Brussels (Brussels Morning) A study commissioned by the trade group of cloud infrastructure providers argues that upcoming EU rules designed to tackle big tech companies should also monitor and react to anti-competitive practices of cloud computing services providers.
The study was compiled for Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE), and carried out by the chair of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Competition Committee, Frederic Jenny.
The report comes following concerns that some lawmakers reviewing the EU’s draft Digital Markets Act (DMA) are considering taking a more lenient approach to cloud computing companies, despite them often being viewed as a part of so-called “big tech”.
For example, according to Statista, the leading cloud services provider in the second quarter of this year was Amazon Web Services, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
Speaking with Reuters, Jenny noted that the draft Act should also cover software licensing. Some CISPE members, cited in the report, claim that the big software companies are imposing unfair terms for access to their cloud infrastructure.
“The DMA does say that cloud infrastructure can come within the ambit of the DMA but it is not obvious that all the suppliers are covered”, Jenny observed, stressing that neither Google Cloud, IBM Cloud or Salesforce seem to qualify as gatekeepers under the current draft terms of the DMA.
The study was compiled from interviews with 25 companies using cloud computing services, and the issues they reported. Some of the problems cited included unfair licence terms, which force customers to pay for software they already own when switching to a competing service provider, and bundle services, which make rival products either less attractive or more expensive.
The DMA is currently being negotiated between the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission, which initiated the proposal. It needs to be greenlit by all three bodies before coming into force, which is unlikely to happen before 2023.