Google has lodged an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the FTC, alleging that the latter used its dominant position in the enterprise software market to promote its cloud services and attract more customers. This information was reported by The Information.
In correspondence to the FTC, Google provided an explanation that Microsoft utilized licensing terms in their Office and Windows Server products to maintain customer loyalty to their cloud computing business. Google contended that this method hinders customers from transitioning to alternative products offered by competitors.
According to Google, Microsoft’s control poses a significant risk to national security. Google cited a number of security incidents in which Microsoft products were targeted by threat actors, including the SolarWinds attacks.
Microsoft has faced accusations of anticompetitive practices before. The European Commission investigated the company’s cloud-computing practices last year after complaints from OVHcloud, Aruba, and CISPE. To avoid the probe, Microsoft agreed to licensing changes that made it simpler for customers to move their software to other cloud providers. However, the changes did not apply to US-based businesses.
The letter was sent in response the FTC’s request for comment on the business practices of cloud computing companies, with a focus on the potential impact on competition, data security, and specific industries such as e-commerce and defense.