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Statement on Ofcom’s Proposal to Refer Microsoft and Amazon’s Cloud Services to CMA for a full antitrust probe

Ofcom market study uncovers practices and features that could limit competition

Apr 06, 2023

The following statement can be attributed to George Rakis, Executive Director for NextGen Competition:

We welcome the news that the United Kingdom's independent communications regulator has referred Amazon and Microsoft's cloud products to the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) for a full-blown antitrust probe. Ofcom's investigation highlights Microsoft's dominance in the cloud marketplace and the urgent need for further scrutiny.

Make no mistake, Microsoft's power has already raised serious concerns within the CMA. For example, late last month, the CMA narrowed its ongoing investigation into the acquisition of Activision Blizzard to focus on Microsoft's cloud infrastructure and the likelihood that the company leverages it to create a significant barrier to entry for competitors and stifle cloud gaming competition. Now Ofcom's referral raises the stakes for CMA to get this right and protect competition from a company notorious for failing to abide by commitments made to antitrust regulators.

We urge the CMA to continue scrutinizing Microsoft's dominance in the cloud and to avoid falling into the same trap that has sidetracked the EU into focusing solely on how a Microsoft-Activision merger impacts a single game. There is much more at stake than Call of Duty.

About NextGen Competition

Our mission is to support a robust and competitive technology ecosystem by opposing anti-competitive business practices and promoting greater industry accountability. Specifically, we oppose consolidation in the industry that undermines worker protections and employer accountability, threatens data privacy and security, encourages market concentration, and limits consumer choice. NextGen Competition intends to work with a broad coalition of unions and public interest partners as it seeks to oppose anti-competitive business practices.