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Microsoft has been criticized for illegal methods in the Azure cloud division

June 23, 2023: Google has spent years protecting itself against suits of monopolistic behavior all over the U.S. and Europe and is going public with its complaint of anti-competitive rules by longtime competitor Microsoft.

In a Wednesday letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Google alleged that Microsoft uses one-sided licensing terms to “lock in clients” to exert control over the cloud-computing market.

The letter was sent in reply to a broad FTC request for comment on potential anti-competitive acts in the cloud industry. A spokesperson for the FTC declined to comment further.

Google singled out Microsoft in the complaint, arguing that through its dominant Windows Server and Microsoft Offices products, the company can make it difficult for its massive roster of clients to use anything but it is Azure cloud infrastructure offering. Google described Microsoft’s licensing restrictions as a “complex web” that prevents businesses from diversifying their enterprise software vendors.

Google also said such power represents a significant national security and cybersecurity risk. It highlighted successive cyberattacks involving Microsoft products, including the SolarWinds breach. Microsoft and Google have active cybersecurity practices responding to and researching cyber threats.

Google is no stranger to antitrust concerns. In January, the Department U.S. of Justice filed its next antitrust lawsuit against Google in just over two years, targeting its advertising business.

The department’s earlier lawsuit, filed in October 2020 under the Trump administration, accused Google of using monopoly power to cut off contests for internet inquiry through exclusionary contracts. That case is anticipated to try in September.

Google also faces three different antitrust lawsuits from large groups of state attorneys general, which include one focused on its advertising business led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In its FTC letter, Microsoft also alleged Oracle’s practices harm customers.

“With overly complex agreements that seek to lock in clients to their ecosystems,” Google said, organizations such as Microsoft and Oracle “are not only forcing customers toward a monolithic cloud model but also limiting choice, increasing costs for customers, and disrupting growing and thriving digital ecosystems in the U.S. and around the world.”

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Microsoft has been criticized for illegal methods in the Azure cloud division