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Microsoft is facing a new antitrust law complaint over its cloud computing practices as trade group CISPE, which includes Amazon, filed a complaint with European Union antitrust authorities on Wednesday.

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CISPE argues that Microsoft’s new contract terms, introduced on October 1, along with other actions, are causing irreparable damage to the European cloud computing ecosystem.

Amazon is the market leader in the cloud computing sector, followed by Microsoft and Google’s Alphabet division.

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“Using its dominance in productivity software, Microsoft is limiting choice and driving up costs as European customers move to the cloud, distorting Europe’s digital economy,” CISPE Secretary General Francisco Mingorance said in a statement.

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The company is using its dominance in productivity software to drive European customers to its Azure cloud infrastructure at the expense of European competitors, CISPE alleges in a complaint to the European Commission.

It argued that Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices included discriminatory bundling and bundling of its products, pricing based on personal preference, and blocking customers on both a technical and competitive level.

Microsoft, which was fined more than 1.6 billion euros ($1.6 billion) by the Commission over the previous decade for various antitrust violations, said it is committed to addressing legitimate licensing issues and maintaining a competitive environment.

“The licensing changes we introduced in October give customers and cloud service providers around the world even more options to run and offer our software in the cloud,” the spokesperson said.

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Cloud service providers in Germany, Italy, Denmark and France, two of which are CISPE members, have filed similar complaints with the Commission over the past couple of years.

Microsoft subsequently amended licensing agreements and other changes to make it easier for cloud service providers to compete from October 1 in an attempt to stave off EU antitrust concerns.

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However, rivals Amazon.com, Alphabet’s Google, Alibaba and Microsoft’s own cloud services are excluded from the changes.



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CISPE said the EU’s competition watchdog should address this issue by applying trade organization software fair licensing principles developed last year for Microsoft.

It says that an independent European observatory could be set up to check the licensing terms of the dominant software companies.

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The Commission could also add another provision to the recently passed technical rules, known as the Digital Markets Act, to prevent cloud computing gatekeepers from prioritizing their software applications, CISPE said.

($1 = €0.9909)