First, it was Alphabet’s Google and Amazon that faced antitrust investigations, and now Microsoft is also under the radar. The dominance of Microsoft (ticker: MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) in the cloud-computing market has caught the attention of British regulators, who have called for a probe into the sector. Their concern stems from the companies’ combined market share, estimated to be between 70% and 80%, which they believe may hinder fair competition in cloud-infrastructure services.
Now, the same regulator will shift its focus to cloud computing. Although the British market is relatively small, valued at approximately $9.1 billion in 2022 according to the CMA, any regulatory changes demanded could pave the way for similar actions in other industries.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also expressed interest in cloud-computing companies earlier this year. With Amazon Web Services leading the pack and Microsoft’s Azure following closely behind, this sector remains under scrutiny on a global scale.
Antitrust Cases in the U.S. and the U.K.
Currently, there are two significant technology antitrust cases underway, each with a distinct focus. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, primarily concerning alleged anticompetitive behavior related to its online marketplace. On the other hand, Google’s parent company, Alphabet (GOOGL), is currently facing trial as the Justice Department accuses it of illegally monopolizing the internet search market.
Responding to the UK regulatory findings about the cloud-computing market, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) spokesperson expressed disagreement and emphasized that the cloud technology has actually facilitated easier switching between providers. The spokesperson stated that any unwarranted intervention could inadvertently harm IT customers and competition. AWS committed to engaging constructively with the CMA in this matter.
The CMA expects to conclude its investigation by April 2025.