European cloud providers locked in talks with Microsoft over licensing complaint

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A waste and acquisition group representing 27 unreality businesses is backmost astatine nan negotiating array successful a bid to resoluteness nan suit it revenge complete Microsoft's alleged anti-competitive licensing policies.

The Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers successful Europe (CISPE) association, which includes mostly section businesses and Amazon Web Services, launched a general title successful late 2022 against Microsoft pinch nan Directorate General for Competition wrong nan European Union.

The title hung connected nan higher costs of buying and moving Microsoft wares successful unreality infrastructure extracurricular of Azure. Microsoft has already tried to settee nan conflict but nan connection was rejected by CISPE arsenic "paltry," arsenic exclusively revealed by The Register successful May past year.

Now nan parties are again locked successful talks, indicating that nan powers astatine Microsoft HQ are making further concessions. CISPE told america these discussions are astatine an early shape and are not guaranteed to lead to a resolution.

"CISPE has stipulated that substantive advancement must beryllium achieved successful nan first 4th of 2024," nan waste and acquisition group said successful a connection sent to The Reg.

At nan bosom of nan CISPE conflict is nan argumentation alteration Microsoft introduced successful 2019 truthful that customers could nary longer bring their on-premises licensing to immoderate unreality of their choice, and needed alternatively to bargain a abstracted license.

In its submission to nan UK Competition Markets Authority, which is moving its ain probe into nan wellness of nan section unreality market, AWS focused connected this aspect, accusing Microsoft of making it "financially unviable" to tally Microsoft package anyplace but successful Microsoft Azure.

A elder Google unreality exec described this to america antecedently arsenic Microsoft's "software tax."

  • Imagine a world without egress fees aliases unreality package licence disparities
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  • Microsoft still prohibits Google aliases Alibaba from moving O365 Windows Apps

A study commissioned by CISPE past twelvemonth recovered nan request to bargain caller Microsoft package licenses for non-Azure clouds equated to a costs summation of 80-100 percent for customers "compared to erstwhile location was nary specified requirement."

In a connection sent to The Register, CISPE caput wide Francisco Mingorance said of nan latest negotiations: "Every passing time without solution further undermines nan viability of Europe's unreality infrastructure assemblage and restricts unreality options disposable to European customers.

"We are supportive of a accelerated and effective solution to these harms but reiterate that it is Microsoft which must extremity its unfair package licensing practices and present this outcome."

Microsoft settled past twelvemonth pinch OVHcloud, Aruba S.p.a, and DCC complete a related lawsuit astir package licensing and unreality infrastructure. The contents of nan colony are confidential, and it is highly apt that immoderate colony pinch CISPE will beryllium too.

A spokesperson astatine Microsoft told us: "We proceed to activity constructively pinch CISPE to resoluteness concerns raised by European unreality providers."

Sources told america that regulators successful nan US, Japan, South Korea, and elsewhere are watching nan developments successful Europe pinch liking arsenic regulators successful different nations see whether to makes moves themselves. ®