Microsoft: Microsoft reaches settlement on CISPE antitrust complaint

Microsoft has reached a multi-million dollar settlement of a CISPE antitrust complaint over its cloud computing licensing practices, the U.S. tech giant said on Wednesday, avoiding an EU antitrust investigation that could have resulted in a hefty fine.

CISPE, which includes Amazon and dozens of small cloud providers in the EU, filed a complaint with the European Commission in late 2022, alleging that Microsoft’s new contractual terms, introduced on October 1, harm the European cloud computing ecosystem.

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Microsoft ranks behind market leader Amazon in the cloud computing sector, but ahead of Alphabet’s Google.

“After more than a year of working with CISPE and its European members, I am pleased that we have not only addressed their concerns of the past, but together we have charted a path forward that will bring even more competition to the cloud computing market in Europe and beyond,” said Microsoft CEO Brad Smith.

Microsoft will develop a product that will enable CISPE members to run Microsoft software on their platforms on the US tech giant’s Azure cloud infrastructure, at prices equal to Microsoft’s, CISPE said.

The group said Microsoft will also compensate CISPE members for lost revenue related to licensing costs over the past two years.

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The settlement does not cover Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and AliCloud. CISPE said it would withdraw its EU complaint and would not initiate or support complaints on these issues in Europe or elsewhere.