EU digital rules must consider anti-competitive licensing terms, say cloud sellers

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by | October 30, 2021


Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe (CISPE) has published a report on how the licensing antics of legacy software firms could distort the cloud marketplace.

The industry group is keen that protection from some of the chicanery turn up in the upcoming EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) and said: “It is imperative that the bad practices and unfair, anti-competitive behaviours of those that wield power to set licence terms are considered as part of the DMA.”

The DMA was proposed in December 2020 in order to tackle “large, systemic online platforms” that legislators believe act as “gatekeepers” to new market entrants. The act will be implemented in 2023, at the earliest.

“It must be made certain that these legacy software players will meet the definition of ‘Gatekeeper’ under the DMA terms, so this bad behaviours [sic] should be proscribed in the ex-ante requirements.”

The research by Professor Frédéric Jenny, chairman of the OECD Competition Committee and professor at ESSEC Paris Business School, took aim at Microsoft and Oracle – taking Big Red to task for its billing practices. The research spared AWS, El Reg notes.

For Microsoft, Jenny highlighted the higher costs for using Microsoft’s productivity suite on third-party clouds while those using Azure had not suffered the same hikes. The report also noted that deals to shunt a licence from on-premises infrastructure to other clouds had gone in recent years, meaning that moving to a cloud that wasn’t Microsoft’s meant you were required to purchase new licences if you wished to carry on using its software.

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