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EU Regulators Scrutinize Microsoft’s Cloud Business, Practices

Microsoft is facing scrutiny from regulators in the European Union over its cloud business and licensing deals, Reuters reported Friday (April 1).

Over the past 10 years, the European Commission fined Microsoft roughly €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) over various violations of antitrust rules, the report noted. Now, EU antitrust regulators are asking the company’s customers and competitors about its cloud business and its licensing deals through a questionnaire.

Additionally, German software provider NextCloud and three other companies have also filed complaints about Microsoft’s cloud practices.

The report noted that regulators have asked if the terms Microsoft has allow rivals to compete with maximum efficacy. Regulators also want to know if companies needed Microsoft’s operating systems and productivity applications, along with their own cloud infrastructure offering, to properly compete.

Companies were also asked about the differences in license fees and commercial terms between the deals with cloud service providers and another program, where they package and indirectly resell Microsoft’s cloud services together with their own. Another area focused on the possibility of tech limitations on cloud storage services that companies were using.

“The Commission has information that Microsoft may be using its potentially dominant position in certain software markets to foreclose competition regarding certain cloud computing services,” the questionnaire said.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, Microsoft said it was “continuously evaluating how we can best support partners and make Microsoft software available to customers across all environments, including those of other cloud providers.”

PYMNTS wrote that Microsoft bought Minit, a process mining technology firm, in late March.

See also: Microsoft Acquires Process Miner Minit

Process mining means taking a microscopic view of workflows to find bottlenecks, assess alternatives to companies’ goals and implement the best one to reach the goals.

The acquisition, according to the company, will let Microsoft help with digital transformation and “drive operational excellence” by making better pictures of business processes.

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