Microsoft in talks with CISPE to resolve EU antitrust complaint on cloud licensing

Microsoft aims to settle the matter through bilateral discussions, seeking to avoid a prolonged EU investigation that might lead to fines and mandated alterations to its business practices.

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Microsoft is in discussions with the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE) to tackle the EU antitrust complaint concerning the company’s cloud computing licensing practices. The talks are focused on resolving concerns raised by CISPE, which submitted a complaint to the European Commission in 2022, alleging that Microsoft’s contractual terms were negatively impacting the cloud computing ecosystem in Europe.

Microsoft aims to settle the matter through bilateral discussions, seeking to avoid a prolonged EU investigation that might lead to fines and mandated alterations to its business practices. CISPE, comprising Amazon and 26 small EU cloud providers, confirmed the ongoing talks, indicating that both parties are exploring potential solutions. Microsoft, positioned behind Amazon but ahead of Google in the cloud computing sector, adjusted its licensing terms in 2022 following complaints from competitors in various European countries.

Why does this matter?

The European Commission, having received complaints about Microsoft, is assessing the situation. Although the discussions are in early stages, CISPE underscores the importance of achieving substantial progress by the first quarter of 2024. Microsoft, having previously faced significant EU antitrust fines, is striving for a collaborative resolution, demonstrating a shift in its regulatory approach.