Microsoft Responds To Cloud Antitrust Complaints

Microsoft has drawn antitrust scrutiny for rules that make it more expensive to run Windows and Office on rivals’ clouds. The company promised a fix but has provided no details.

At issue is a set of licensing rule changes that make it more expensive to run Microsoft Windows, Office, Windows Serverand SQL Server on cloud services other than Microsoft Azure. In a report Tuesday, Bloomberg spoke to customers affected by the issue, including one that found switching to Google Cloud would cost an extra $50 million in Windows licenses. It’s unclear exactly how much expense the rule changes add for the typical customer, though.

“While not all of these claims are valid, some of them are, and we’ll absolutely make changes soon to address them,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement. “We’re committed to listening to our customers and meeting the needs of European cloud providers.”

The company did not provide any further details about which complaints it deemed valid or the changes it will make.

European cloud provider trade association CISPE said on Thursday that it does not consider Microsoft’s response adequate. The group, which counts AWS as a member, called on Microsoft to fix the issue at once.

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