Azure cloud users quizzed by EU on what data they give to Microsoft

 Microsoft head quarters in France
Microsoft head quarters in France

Microsoft’s rivals are being quizzed by the European Union’s antitrust regulators about the information they have being made to share as part of their Azure cloud contracts.

According to a Reuters report, the questionnaire asks about the contractual clauses that require companies to share information about their European customers with the tech giant, which is thought to be leading Microsoft directly to its competition’s customers.

The EU also wants to know about the frequency of reporting, data periods, and whether the information goes directly to Microsoft or if there is a third party in the middle, such as an auditor.

Microsoft antitrust case

Microsoft’s ongoing antitrust case in the EU has been unfolding for months following notification from CISPE members that the company’s anticompetitive nature may be giving it an unfair advantage, helping it to occupy a significant proportion of the sector.

Weeks ago, reports broke that the company was nearing a settlement deal with OVHcloud, Aruba, and the Danish Cloud Community, but it seems that the EU is not done with Microsoft just yet.

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An EU executive spokesperson said: “The Commission has received several complaints regarding Microsoft, including in relation to its product Azure, which we are assessing based on our standard procedures.”

Microsoft so far has been reluctant to comment on the ongoing case, which is fast approaching a year old.

One person familiar with the matter has suggested that a settlement deal between it and CISPE is under discussion.

More broadly, the company has been subject to numerous fines in the EU including a hefty $561 million fine in 2013 for “failing to comply with its commitments to offer users a browser choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser.”

Over the past decade, Redmond has been subject to around $1.8 million in fines for various violations.