Mar 22, 2023
FTC Seeks Comment on Cloud Industry in Sign of Greater Scrutiny
(Bloomberg) -- The US Federal Trade Commission is asking for comment on the business practices of cloud-computing providers as regulators begin to scrutinize market power, competition and security in the key technology field.
The agency released a public request for information on whether parts of the economy are highly reliant on a small number of cloud providers, whether customers are able to negotiate flexible contracts and how companies offer incentives to sway clients to use more of their services.
The agency also asked about security and artificial intelligence and said it is particularly interested in how the issues relate to industries like health care, finance, transportation, e-commerce and defense.
The move underscores that the agency is taking a closer look at the burgeoning market for cloud computing, where customers rent processing power and storage from some of the world’s biggest tech companies. The US market is dominated by Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has a strong position in China.
Last year, customers and partners complained that Microsoft was making it harder and pricier — or, in some cases, impossible — to use its Windows and Office software with rival cloud providers. The UK’s digital regulatory agency Ofcom is already looking at concerns related to the cloud and competition.
Read More: Microsoft Customers Decry Cloud Contracts That Sideline Rivals
The public has until May 22 to comment in the FTC inquiry.
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