CISPE Publishes Response to Digital Services Act: Calls for Commission to tackle abusive practices and allow the European cloud industry to flourish

Sep 17, 2020 | News

[Brussels: Thursday, 17 September 2020] CISPE today published its response to the Commission’s consultation on the Digital Services Act on behalf of Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe.

The CISPE paper urges the Commission to enact policies that allow the European cloud infrastructure industry to flourish and promote long-term consumer welfare.

The two most important opportunities highlighted are:

  1. For the Commission to create the first ever definition of “cloud infrastructure services” due to its unique characteristics.
  2. To address the anticompetitive practices of entrenched software providers that hamper European innovation, unnecessarily increase costs, and inhibit the availability of cloud computing to European citizens.


Distinguish cloud infrastructure from digital services, like social media

Cloud infrastructure services enable 5G services, the Internet of Things (IoT), connected cars and a multitude of other innovative products and services. Treating cloud infrastructure services like digital and social media platforms, by imposing monitoring requirements on the infrastructure layer, could risk major disruptions to these services. CISPE believes it is appropriate to create a fourth category for “cloud infrastructure services” to clearly establish the right protections for these services.

CISPE urges the Commission to ensure that any rules on responsibility take into account the important differences between cloud infrastructure services, which do not have visibility of or control over content, and other services offered on the cloud that do, such as online content sharing providers.


End the abuse of gatekeeper power in computing services

CISPE also highlights the risk of limiting regulation to solely online digital business models. The DSA currently focuses disproportionately on the large online platforms with a “gatekeeper role” in the digital ecosystem. By doing so, it risks ignoring the practices of major software suppliers who can act as gatekeepers to IT services, as businesses move on premises services to the cloud.

CISPE is calling for any new rules to help end the abusive practices of some major software suppliers that have not been fixed by competition law. Without action, CISPE believes the smooth adoption of cloud computing in Europe and the larger development of Europe’s digital and online ecosystems are at stake.

“It’s come to our attention that some major software suppliers aggressively use their licensing terms to give themselves an unfair competitive advantage regardless of the impact on cloud consumers,” said Alban Schmutz, CISPE Chairman and Vice President Strategic Development and Public Affairs at OVH. “As newer entrants in the IT services segment, CISPE members are disrupting an industry that has been dominated by large software vendors for decades. These legacy software vendors are using their position to reduce competition in cloud infrastructure services. This is an abuse of true gatekeeper power and needs to be addressed by the Commission.”

The full submission by CISPE to the DSA consultation is available here.




About CISPE –

CISPE is a non-profit association with a goal of developing greater understanding and promoting the use of cloud infrastructure services in Europe. Members range from SMEs to large multinationals, based in 14 EU Member States and with customers across the EU. CISPE member companies have cumulatively invested billions of euros in Europe’s digital infrastructure and to prepare Europe’s workforce for the high-quality tech jobs of tomorrow.

CISPE developed the first dedicated cloud infrastructure Code of Conduct for Data Protection under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The code aligns with the strict requirements laid out in the GDPR framework to help providers comply and avoid penalties while helping customers and end users to select cloud providers and trust their services. CISPE also co-chaired together with EuroCIO the cloud infrastructure industry working group facilitated by the European Commission to develop industry Codes of Conducts for reversibility and data portability under the framework of the Free Flow of non-personal Data Regulation.


For more information, please contact:

Simona Romeo

+32 492249868

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