(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. is bowing to pressure to make it easier for European cloud providers to host the company’s software.
The US company is launching a new initiative that will make it easier for European cloud companies to host Microsoft products like Windows and Office 365 apps. The company will also provide greater licensing flexibility for customers.
“We have a responsibility to do more,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith at an event in Brussels on Wednesday.
Microsoft is facing a formal inquiry from the European Commission into the company’s alleged antitrust practices. The commission sent questions to rival cloud services after an antitrust complaint last year from France’s OVH claiming Microsoft’s software licensing terms put them at a disadvantage for running Microsoft products and make it easier or cheaper to pair things like Windows, Office and Windows Server with Microsoft’s own Azure cloud.
“We don’t think all of these claims are valid but some of them are,” said Smith. “We want to act fast.”
Read More: Microsoft Customers Decry Cloud Contracts That Sideline Rivals
Microsoft — the maker of market-leading Office and Windows software — is also the No. 2 global seller of cloud infrastructure, renting computing power and storage delivered over the internet to customers. Amazon.com Inc. is the largest vendor of such services, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google is trying to catch Microsoft.
“We were thinking so much about the big competitors,” Smith said, “we were forgetting” to think about the smaller players on the European market.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.