Ofcom is investigating Amazon, Microsoft, and Google’s cloud computing monopoly.
The watchdog will scrutinize these public cloud infrastructure providers in the coming weeks to see if they hinder competition.
Its inquiry, announced Thursday, will focus on “hyperscalers” such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, which allow corporations to obtain processing power and data storage from remote servers.
The regulator may take extra action if the businesses harm competition. Selina Chadha, Ofcom’s head of connectivity, said the regulator hasn’t established if cloud giants are anticompetitive. Ofcom expects to finish its review and issue a final report with any concerns and modifications within a year.
Amazon, Microsoft, and Google didn’t reply fast to CNBC.
The study is part of Ofcom’s digital strategy for UK broadcasting and telecoms.
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It plans to investigate new digital businesses such as personal messaging and Amazon’s Alexa next year. Ofcom is wondering how WhatsApp, Facetime, and Zoom have impacted traditional phone and messaging, as well as digital assistants, linked TVs, and smart speakers.
Ofcom’s Chadha: “Digital services have changed how we live, work, play, and do business.” As more platforms, devices, and networks supply content, authorities face technological and economic challenges.
“We’re initiating a work program to analyze these digital marketplaces, find competition concerns, and guarantee they run properly,” she added.
Ofcom will enforce strict new internet safety measures. After Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister, the Online Safety Bill is unlikely to become law soon. With Truss’ administration coping with a plethora of difficulties in the UK, including the cost-of-living crisis, internet safety legislation is unlikely to be a top priority.
The measure complements past authorities’ efforts to rein in internet giants owing to their perceived digital economy monopolies.
The Competition and Marketplaces Authority is probing Big Tech companies and wants more power to balance digital marketplaces. The European Commission has fined Google billions for antitrust crimes, is probing Apple and Amazon, and has introduced substantial digital regulations that may overhaul the internet titans’ business models.
Amazon Web Services earns billions of dollars annually in cloud infrastructure services. 2021 AWS revenue were $62.2 billion and operating profit was $18.5 billion.
Google is third, followed by Microsoft’s Azure. IBM and Alibaba have cloud divisions.
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