an investigation opened into the domination of the cloud market by Amazon, Microsoft and Google

The cloud market represents 15 billion pounds sterling (17.2 billion euros) in the United Kingdom. As in the European Union and in the world, it is largely dominated, at 81%, by the three major American players, which are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. The Office of Communications (Ofcom), responsible for regulating the country’s telecommunications, revealed on September 22 its intention to launch an investigation into the subject soon.

Are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google blocking cloud competition?

The study is due to begin in the next few weeks and is expected to last a year. Ofcom, explained working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the British antitrust authority. Its objective is simple, to determine whether the domination of the three American giants is likely to limit innovation, growth or the emergence of new players in the cloud computing market.

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The market situation will be studied, commercial practices and possible contractual conditions that may be unfair. Cloud players will be called upon, according to the Wall Street JournalMicrosoft has already announced that it will collaborate.

Selina Chadha, director of connectivity at the agency, explained that Ofcom is looking identify any competition concerns and ensure that they [les marchés] work well for the people and businesses that depend on them “.

The head of the British authority notes that while the platforms continue to become more numerous, the technological and economic problems follow the same trend.

Ofcom bases its investigation on a 2002 law, the Enterprise Act. This text leaves him full latitude for his work. The agency hopes to propose solutions at the end of a work which should last twelve months. It has the possibility of seizing the CMA, enforcing competition regulations, submitting new rules to the British government…

UK also cracks down on digital giants

Ofcom has already promised that its move into the cloud market is only a first step. Communication applications, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom… will also be scrutinized from 2023, then it will be the turn of smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google’s Nest, Apple’s HomePods…

Since leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom has been very active in the field of regulation of digital giants. The CMA has opened several investigations, in particular against Apple and Google for their alleged duopoly on smartphone software.

A law, “Online safety bill”, on online security, is in preparation to strengthen the powers of Ofcom. It was to be definitively adopted before the summer, but it was postponed for calendar considerations. According to Guardian, Michelle Donelan, Culture Secretary, assured that it would not be abandoned, just a little modified. It should consolidate Ofcom as the second antitrust engine on digital, alongside the CMA.

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