Cloud-focused anti-competitive behaviour complaints targeting Microsoft resurface

Microsoft is potentially facing an anti-trust investigation from an overseas competition watchdog following a complaint filed by a Spanish startup trade association. The Spanish Startup Association (SSA) lodged a complaint with Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) citing restrictive practices in the cloud services market that adversely affect both cloud providers and clients within the startup ecosystem in Spain. The association accuses Microsoft of using its dominant position in the operating systems and productivity software market to compel the use of its Azure cloud services, creating artificial barriers that restrict competition and hinder startups’ ability to compete fairly. The CNMC had previously announced plans to analyze the competitive landscape in Spain’s cloud sector and propose recommendations to encourage competition. The SSA is urging an extensive investigation by the CNMC into Microsoft’s alleged violation of competition regulations and the implementation of changes that support startup growth free from monopolistic or anti-competitive practices. In response, Microsoft expressed its commitment to understand the concerns raised by engaging with the Spanish startup community. This complaint adds to a series of previous allegations made against Microsoft regarding anti-competitive behavior, including an ongoing investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

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