UK to launch antitrust probe into Amazon, Google and Microsoft's cloud businesses


according to reports, the British digital media regulator "Ofcom" said today that it will launch an antitrust investigation into cloud services of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.


  Ofcom, which regulates broadcasting, communications and postal services, said today it would launch a series of investigations into digital markets including cloud computing, internet communications and smart devices. It means the British regulator has taken another step forward in scrutinizing big U.S. tech companies.


  Ofcom said it would first investigate the cloud services of Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure) and Google to assess whether they limit innovation and hinder fair competition and growth in the industry. Ofcom said the size of the UK public cloud infrastructure market is about 15 billion pounds (about 16.85 billion US dollars), and the cloud services of the three companies accounted for about 81% of revenue.


  Ofcom plans to complete the review within the next 12 months and publish a final report, which will include relevant concerns and recommendations. Further action may be taken if Ofcom finds that the three companies are harming competition. Ofcom executive Selina Chadha also pointed out that Ofcom has not yet reached an agreement on "whether these cloud giants engage in anti-competitive behavior."

Amazon, Google and Microsoft have yet to comment.


  In addition to cloud services, Ofcom plans to investigate other digital markets next year, including personal messaging and virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa. Ofcom said it was interested in how services such as Meta's WhatsApp, Apple's Facetime and Zoom were affecting traditional calling and messaging, as well as the competitive landscape in the markets for digital assistants, connected TVs and smart speakers.


  "The way we live, work, play and do business has been transformed by digital services," Chadha said in a statement. "But as the number of platforms, devices and networks (serving content) continues to grow, regulation The technical and economic issues facing institutions have also increased. That's why we're launching this survey, to review these digital marketplaces, identify any competition issues, and ensure that these services are fair and friendly to the people and businesses that rely on them ."


  Currently, Microsoft's cloud services are facing a formal investigation by the European Commission. In March, Microsoft's cloud computing business was hit with complaints from three European rivals, alleging that Microsoft undermined fair competition in the cloud computing services market and limited consumers' choices.

SOURCE : China news

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