Sunday, June 16, 2024

Microsoft Nears Multi-Million-Euro Settlement to Resolve EU Antitrust Complaint

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Microsoft is reportedly close to reaching a multi-million-euro agreement with the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in the EU (CISPE) to address an ongoing antitrust cloud computing complaint, according to industry officials cited by Politico. Despite these reports, a CISPE representative has denied that any agreement has been finalized.

CISPE, a trade association representing 34 European cloud providers across 14 member states, told Politico that while discussions with Microsoft are ongoing and various proposals have been made, no settlement has been reached. “These rumors are incorrect,” the representative stated. “Any offer will need to be submitted for acceptance to the association’s General Assembly.”

The Politico report highlighted that the proposed deal, which has yet to be accepted by CISPE, could involve a substantial financial payment to the association, with additional payments potentially going to individual companies. Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, is set to meet with EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on June 4th to discuss competition and artificial intelligence.

Related: CISPE Denies Nearing EU Settlement with Microsoft Over Antitrust Complaint

Microsoft confirmed to Politico that it is working “constructively with CISPE to resolve concerns raised by European cloud providers.” DCD has reached out to Microsoft, CISPE, and Amazon, a CISPE member, for comments on the ongoing situation.

The antitrust complaint was initially filed by CISPE in 2022, accusing Microsoft of using contractual terms that negatively impacted Europe’s cloud computing ecosystem. The complaint emphasized that Microsoft’s practices were “irreparably damaging the European cloud ecosystem and depriving European customers of choice in their cloud deployments.”

In February 2024, reports emerged that Microsoft had begun negotiations with cloud providers to address the licensing disputes that underpin the complaint. As these discussions progress, the cloud computing industry watches closely to see how this high-stakes negotiation will unfold and potentially reshape the competitive landscape in Europe.

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