The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the British equivalent of the Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority (Arcom), is opening an investigation into the cloud market in the United Kingdom on September 22. The objective is to determine whether the ultra-presence of Amazon, Microsoft and Google could stifle competition and prevent new players from entering this sector.
81% of revenue captured by three players
The numbers are clear: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud generate nearly 81% of the UK public cloud infrastructure services market revenue. According to Synergy Research Group, in 2021, AWS accounted for 40%, Azure 25% and Google Cloud 16%.
To fuel its research, Ofcom will solicit market players as well as interested persons. Within a year, a final report with recommendations will be published, specifies the authority. It has the power to take several measures, such as making recommendations to the government to modify the regulations, referring an investigation to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) or even accepting commitments by the players targeted by the procedure. .
An open consultation in France
The issues raised by Ofcom go far beyond borders. In France, the Competition Authority asked for an opinion last January to assess the competitive situation in the cloud sector. In July, it opened a public consultation which has just ended in order to collect comments from all stakeholders. They were invited to comment on the definition of the relevant markets and the practices implemented or likely to be implemented in the sector.
Companies in the sector are also attacking each other. This is how a group of companies, of which OVHcloud is a member, filed an appeal against Microsoft before the European Commission, accusing it of abuse of a dominant position. Specifically, the complaint relates to how Microsoft licenses its products, such as its Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) suite.
The latter is preinstalled in Windows, which gives it a decisive advantage over competing offers. This criticism is absolutely not new and has already earned two complaints from the American giant. A coalition of around 30 companies and organizations, dubbed the “Coalition for a Level Playing Field”, accused him of favoring OneDrive, its online storage tool, and its Teams group chat solution.
Slack, a company that publishes eponymous chat software acquired by Salesforce in December 2020, also pinned Microsoft before the Brussels executive in July 2020. It “has illegally associated its Teams product with the office suite Office which has a dominant position on the market“, he argued at that time in a press release. In doing so, he “forces millions of customers to install Teams, blocks its removal and hides the true cost to businesses” Office users.