back to article Microsoft faces EU antitrust complaint from OVHcloud

Microsoft is facing an antitrust complaint in Europe from France's OVHcloud. The French data centre provider, which sells web hosting, cloud computing and dedicated server instances, filed the complaint with the European Commission's (EC) antitrust arm in the summer of 2021. The filing - which has only come to light over the …

  1. pip25

    "(...) quite late in the process"

    Are we? I'm not seeing anything in the article that suggests that this complaint will get anywhere anytime soon, unfortunately.

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Cloud providers enjoy many options to provide cloud services to their customers using Microsoft s/w

    Until the Extinguish phase is activated.

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    I might have sympathy...

    ... If OVH's ASNs weren't the first in my my drop all list.

  4. Roland6 Silver badge

    " Microsoft has faced scrutiny over alleged attempts to kill off resellable perpetual licenses."

    Microsoft will stop selling on-premise perpetual licences through its Charity scheme in just over a week...

  5. poorsufferingtech

    As a cloud provider we have been waiting some time for the larger providers to stand-up.

    Examples of this include:

    Office 365/Microsoft 365 - Microsoft provides Office Licenses on a subscription basis to end users for significantly less than the cloud providers can provide the licenses under SPLA - additionally Microsoft allows end users to install the software on multiple machines across Azure and their own desktop, whereas cloud providers can only provide the license for use on the cloud platform. Users are not allowed to install office on the cloud provider unless the cloud provider is Tier 1 and has QMTH which requires the cloud provider to spend at least $300,000 with Microsoft - but they won't be doing this as they run their own platform.

    Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit - allowing users to bring Windows Server licenses with Software Assurance - which is not allowed on any other provider.

    Forcing cloud providers to utilise SPLA Licensing which is generally increased by 10 to 15% every year.

    Microsoft forcing audits on all other providers but ignoring compliancy on their platform.

    Removing dedicated options to host on dedicated hardware for the major public cloud providers.

    Automatically allowing use of "365" applications in any situation on Azure but requiring all other providers to either use hardware dedicated to the customer or if on shared environments be the provider under CSP Tier 1 with QMTH - this locks out customer flexibility - why demand this when in reality there is no difference between physical and virtual instances and the customer clearly has to purchase the subscription to use the software so cannot pirate it.

    Creating a specialist version of Windows 10/11 called MultiSession" that provides RDS like functionality within Azure Virtual Desktop - but is technically restricted so that it only operates on Azure. Licensing is through Microsoft subscription bundles that include WIndows Enterprise.

    All other providers have to either provide functionality via RDSH with the additional cost of RDS CALs via SPLA (which as noted increase every year) or dedicated Windows 10/11 VDI.

    Announcing that the Office 365 apps for Enterprise will no longer be supported on servers (e.g. RDSH which cloud providers are required to use) following 2025 and also not releasing support for server 2022 despite normal Office having support for server 2022. - Essentially this newly announced policy either requires users of cloud services to purchase SPLA Office for use in RDSH or use Microsoft VDA to save paying for office twice.

    All of the above are Licensing "optimisations" that unfairly favour Microsoft over other Cloud Providers - Big and Small.

    1. Peter-Waterman1

      Think you forgot some

      Preventing customers from brining their sql licences to PaaS services, but they can in azure

      Not allowing customers from using MSDN licenses anywhere but Azure

      Blocking O365 installs anywhere but Azure,

      Preventing anyone from

      Being able to bring their windows licences, that they paid for, to anyone except azure from 2019 onwards

  6. Roland6 Silver badge

    EC's antitrust arm...

    I don't really see how the EC's antitrust arm performance on the timely investigation of complaints is doing the EU any good; its almost as if it is a pro-US beachhead into the EU.

    The whole point of the Single Market was to create a single European market for European (inc. UK) businesses to grow in with some protection from foreign multinationals.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isnt these providers using the EU to demand a level playing field fundamentally wrong and uncapatialist?

    It seems that they desire a communist soviet utopia where prices are controlled?

    Surely the complainant needs to just up their game?

    1. naive

      Open-Source or fighting abuse by a monopolist like Microsoft is often referred by MS, or any other Big-Tech affiniados, as "communism".

      This is actually extremely funny, since anyone supporting Big-Tech practices supports Stalinist dictatorship in tech. It is the Open-Source community providing capitalist free market choice and diversity. Technology offered by Big-Tech offers no choice at all, except not buying it.

      One can choose many Linux variants with different GUI's, MS victims are forced to live by whatever some apparatchiks in Redmond deem good, like in the case of Windows 11, which is the answer to a question nobody asked, and just feels like to drive a car where some guy decided to put the clutch where the handbrake lever used to be.

      Azure combined with the de-facto monopoly MS holds on software can never go well. Independent hosting companies should be given a chance to live, not be torpedoed out of the market by MS offering better licensing conditions on its software products when their software is hosted on Azure.

      With Azure, the decades overdue moment is there to force MS to breakup into separate companies, otherwise Europe will lose total control over its IT. That would be bad. After most of independent hosting companies are bankrupt, prices of Azure will go up even more.

      Today Russia, tomorrow anything can happen causing the the US government to push the red button on European access to US linked technology and services. And that would be worse, one never knows who the next guy in the White house will be.

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