Today, CISPE confirms that it has opened discussions with Microsoft aimed at resolving ongoing issues related to unfair software licensing for cloud infrastructure providers and their customers in Europe. This development follows the formal complaint filed by CISPE with the Directorate General for Competition (DG Comp) in November 2022. As DG Comp examines the case, both parties are exploring potential remedies.
As the foundation for discussions, CISPE has reiterated that any remedies and resolution must apply across the sector and to be accessible to all cloud customers in Europe. Furthermore, any agreements will be made public, subject to scrutiny and monitoring by third parties.
The process is at an early stage, and it remains uncertain whether these discussions will yield effective remedies to the alleged anti-competitive practices. To ensure swift and effective progress, CISPE has stipulated that substantive progress must be achieved in the first quarter of 2024.
Commenting on the talks, CISPE secretary general, Francisco Mingorance, said:
“We thank DG Comp and the case team for their attention in this matter, which has helped bring both sides to the table for discussion. Every passing day without resolution further undermines the viability of Europe’s cloud infrastructure sector and restricts the cloud options available to European customers. We are supportive of a fast and effective resolution to these harms but reiterate that it is Microsoft which must end its unfair software licensing practices to deliver this outcome.”