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UK Cloud Market Faces Competition Over Amazon and Microsoft Dominance

The UK's cloud computing business is going to be probed due to rising worries about Amazon and Microsoft's dominance.

The UK’s cloud computing market is set to undergo a competition probe due to growing concerns about its domination by tech giants Amazon and Microsoft. 

Media watchdog Ofcom revealed that these two companies hold a substantial 70-80% share of the sector in the UK, with their closest competitor, Google, having a much smaller 5-10% share.

In April, Ofcom expressed its concerns, highlighting that the lack of competition in the cloud computing market could make it challenging for businesses to switch providers. 

In response to these concerns, Ofcom has referred the matter to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for further investigation.

Amazon and Microsoft’s Response:

Amazon and Microsoft are willing to cooperate with the CMA during its investigation. However, Amazon mentioned that it believes Ofcom’s concerns are rooted in a “fundamental misconception” of the sector.

Understanding Cloud Computing:

Cloud computing involves storing data online, making it accessible from anywhere at any time. It has become a critical infrastructure component for businesses and individuals, enabling data storage, remote software usage, music and video streaming, and online gaming.

This technology relies on vast networks of powerful machines stored in massive data centers worldwide, and a significant portion of these data centers belong to Amazon and Microsoft.

The cloud services market in the UK was estimated to be worth up to £7.5 billion in 2022, as reported by Ofcom. Many businesses in the UK heavily depend on cloud services, making competition in this market crucial.

CMA’s Role and Timeline:

CMA Chief Executive Sarah Cardell emphasized the importance of effective competition in the cloud services market. The CMA will conduct an independent inquiry to determine if competition is functioning effectively. If not, it will explore appropriate actions.

The CMA’s investigation is expected to conclude by April 2025. The authority can compel companies to alter their practices, prevent acquisitions, or divest parts of their businesses if deemed necessary to preserve market integrity.

Addressing Deep-Seated Issues:

Experts, including Nicky Stewart, a former head of ICT at the Cabinet Office, have praised Ofcom’s efforts to address anti-competitive issues in the cloud computing market. 

These issues include concerns related to data egress fees, technical and commercial lock-ins, and anti-competitive licensing that have impacted the UK’s growing cloud infrastructure market.

Get all the latest update on UAE Times Now

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