Alphabet’s Google along with technology trade groups have complained to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about allegedly unfair business practices in the cloud, including by longtime rival Microsoft.
In a letter to the FTC on Wednesday, Google alleged that Microsoft uses unfair licensing terms to lock in clients to gain control over the cloud-computing market.
The letter was a response to a March request by the US Agency for comment on potential anti-competitive practices and security issues for data storage and computing power in the cloud industry, reported CNBC.
In its complaint, Google pointed to Microsoft stating that with its dominant Windows Server and Microsoft Offices products, the company can make it difficult for its huge client base to use anything but its Azure cloud infrastructure offering.
Google said Microsoft’s licensing restrictions are a complex web that averts companies from shifting their enterprise software providers. It said enterprises that purchased software from Microsoft from their own data centres face restrictions and surcharges when shifting those licenses to Microsoft’s top cloud competitors, according to CNBC report.
According to Google, such controls reflect a major national security and cybersecurity threat. It also outlined successive cyberattacks involving Microsoft products, including the SolarWinds breach. Google and Microsoft both have active cybersecurity practices that research and respond to cyber threats.
Google’s response comes after scrutiny worldwide including a recent investigation by Europe’s antitrust body to Microsoft’s licensing agreements that allegedly discouraged viral cloud usage, according to a Reuters report.
According to the report, Microsoft has updated some terms after the criticism. The company said it is committed to broader cloud community services but competitors have called its changes insufficient.