According to a report released on Tuesday, draught EU laws aimed at limiting the influence of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet subsidiary Google, and Facebook could also target cloud computing service providers for alleged anti-competitive conduct.
The claim comes amid concerns that some EU parliamentarians considering EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA) will be lenient toward cloud computing corporations.
According to market research firm Statista, Amazon’s Amazon Web Services was the biggest supplier in the second quarter, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Salesforce, and Oracle are among the others.
In his personal role, Frederic Jenny, chairman of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Competition Committee, compiled the study for the trade group Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE).
According to the survey, the new EU standards should also cover software licencing, with respondents highlighting unreasonable terms imposed by some large software businesses to gain access to their cloud infrastructure.
“The DMA does say that cloud infrastructure can come within the ambit of the DMA but it is not obvious that all the suppliers are covered,” Jenny told in an interview.
“For example, it doesn’t seem that Google Cloud qualifies under the DMA as a gatekeeper or IBM Cloud or Salesforce.”
Some companies may employ anti-competitive tactics such as unfair pricing or measures to make switching to a competitor technically difficult, he added.
Jenny said the survey spoke with 25 businesses that utilise cloud computing services, and some of them raised concerns about unfair licence conditions, which force consumers to pay again to use software they already own when they switch to a competitor.
Respondents were also concerned about cloud providers combining software with their infrastructure in order to make rival goods less appealing or more expensive.
Google, Oracle and SAP declined to comment. Microsoft and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Before it becomes law, possibly in 2023, EU legislators must work out the draught DMA with EU countries.