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Complaint filed against Microsoft’s licensing practices with European Commission

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Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe (CISPE) is an industry group in Europe which is backed by AWS. Yesterday, CISPE filed a formal competition complaint against Microsoft’s cloud licensing practices with the European Commission.

In August, Microsoft announced changes to licensing terms that will benefit cloud providers and their customers. But CISPE mentioned that Microsoft did not provide the detail, clarity or assurance that it truly intends to bring an end to its anti-competitive licensing practices. According to CISPE, the new licensing contractual terms imposed by Microsoft on 1st October 2022 add new unfair practices to the list.

CISPE wants simple remedies that can be quickly and efficiently implemented across the sector. Also, it wants European Commission to open a formal investigation against Micrsoft to ensure fair software licensing terms for cloud customers.

“CISPE members represent the vibrant, autonomous and independent foundations of Europe’s digital transformation and growth. We have filed this sector complaint to rectify the harms suffered by vendors and customers alike as a result of unfair software licensing practices,” said Francisco Mingorance, Secretary General of CISPE. “Leveraging its dominance in productivity software, Microsoft restricts choice and inflates costs as European customers look to move to the cloud, thus distorting Europe’s digital economy. DG Comp must act swiftly to open a formal investigation with a statement of objections against Microsoft’s software licence abuses to defend the robust cloud ecosystem Europe needs and deserves.”

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