Six months ago, Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE), which includes Amazon, filed a complaint against Microsoft’s cloud computing practices. CISPE claimed that Microsoft’s new contractual terms along with other practices were harming the European cloud computing ecosystem.
The European Commission has now sent a questionnaire to cloud providers requesting information about contractual clauses that require companies to provide customer data to Microsoft. The regulator wants to know the frequency of reporting, the period of data requested, the format of reporting, and whether the data is sent directly to Microsoft or to an auditor. The questionnaire also asks about the consequences for not complying with these clauses. The regulator is concerned that Microsoft may have used the gathered information to go directly to the recipients’ customers.
Microsoft, which has been fined more than €1.6bn ($1.8bn) by EU regulators for antitrust violations, has declined to comment. The company has offered to CISPE to settle the issue, and discussions are ongoing.
The European Commission has received several complaints about Microsoft, including Azure, and is assessing the situation based on its standard procedures. The regulator is committed to ensuring fair competition in the cloud computing industry and is investigating whether Microsoft’s practices are harming the European cloud computing ecosystem.