After The EU, Microsoft Faces Cloud Computing Antitrust Scrutiny in South Africa

Zinger Key Points
  • Microsoft's cloud licensing under antitrust probe in South Africa, echoing EU's Big Tech investigation.
  • CISPE, with Amazon and 26 EU providers, challenges Microsoft's terms affecting cloud ecosystem.

Microsoft Corp’s MSFT cloud computing licensing practices have become the subject of an antitrust investigation under the South African regulatory body.

The latest regulatory scrutiny is similar to the European Union antitrust case on Big Tech software company.

Microsoft acknowledged unawareness of any complaint filed by the South African competition authority, Reuters reports.

Microsoft faces an EU complaint by rivals over its cloud computing licensing practices in the region.

Industry group CISPE, which includes members like Inc AMZN and 26 small EU cloud providers, complained in 2022 against Microsoft’s new contractual terms allegedly harming Europe’s cloud computing ecosystem.

Microsoft amended its licensing terms in mid-2022 after rivals in Germany, Italy, Denmark, and France reported their grievances to the EU competition watchdog.

Microsoft is currently negotiating with the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE) to resolve a complaint filed with the European Union about its cloud computing licensing practices. 

This move aims to avert a detailed EU investigation that could lead to fines and require changes to Microsoft’s operations. 

Additionally, the EU is closely examining Microsoft’s $13 billion investment in OpenAI, alongside addressing complaints regarding Microsoft Teams.

Over the past decade, Microsoft has paid €1.6 billion in EU antitrust penalties.

Recent reports indicated Microsoft’s plan to sell its Teams chat and video application separately from its Office suite globally in response to an investigation by the European Commission.

Microsoft stock gained 47% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via SPDR Select Sector Fund – Technology XLK and Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF FTEC.

Price Actions: MSFT shares traded higher by 0.50% at $419.95 premarket on the last check Friday.

Photo by monticello via Shutterstock

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