Google levies allegations of unfair practices against Microsoft’s Azure cloud unit

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Google has lodged an official grievance with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that its adversary, Microsoft, employs deceptive tactics to secure deals with its Azure cloud server services, CNBC reports.

Google submitted a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday, in which they have raised concerns regarding Microsoft’s licensing practices which they consider biased and detrimental to healthy competition. The company has accused Microsoft of attempting to influence the cloud computing market by restricting clients’ freedom to switch services.

The letter has been sent in response to a broader inquiry by the FTC to receive opinions on possible activities that could be deemed anti-competitive within the cloud industry.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Google has taken action against Microsoft with antitrust agencies. As reported by Reuters, the search giant urged European regulators to closely scrutinize Microsoft’s “anti-competitive posture” earlier this year.

Over the past six months, Microsoft has been beset by a string of antitrust grievances, with the Competition and Markets Authority in Europe taking issue with its bid to obtain gaming corporation Activision Blizzard, ultimately blocking the acquisition. Additionally, the FTC brought legal action to thwart the proposed merger.

In the complaint, Google targeted Microsoft by asserting that its dominance in the market through the deployment of Windows Server and Microsoft Offices makes it challenging for its extensive client base to opt for anything other than Azure cloud infrastructure. The search giant further described the restrictions imposed by Microsoft’s complicated licensing framework as a hindrance to companies seeking to diversify their enterprise software vendors.

In addition to this, Google went on to bring forth the issue of significant national security and cybersecurity risks arising from such a level of control by Microsoft. It outlined a series of cyberattacks, including the SolarWinds breach, linked to Microsoft products as a matter of concern.