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Microsoft Faces Antitrust Probe in South Africa Over Azure Cloud Practices

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Microsoft‘s Azure cloud computing service is facing a formal complaint from South Africa’s Competition Commission (CompCom) over allegations of anti-competitive practices.

The complaint centers on accusations that Microsoft charges excessively high fees when businesses attempt to switch their cloud licenses to competing providers.

This investigation follows similar actions against Microsoft in Europe and the United Kingdom (US), where regulators are scrutinizing the company’s licensing practices for potential violations of fair competition rules.

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In 2022, a European cloud industry trade body filed grievances with the European Commission, alleging that Microsoft’s practices favor its own cloud platform.

The South African probe could result in significant financial penalties for Microsoft.

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“CompCom has the authority to levy fines of up to 10% of the company’s South African revenue,” local dailies reported.

According to reports by Reuters, Microsoft denied knowledge of a formal complaint but maintains it has made global changes to its licensing policies to ensure customers can migrate licenses to other South African cloud providers without additional costs.

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This case reflects a growing trend of regulators taking a more assertive stance against the dominance of major tech companies.

The outcome of the South African investigation could set precedents for regulating the cloud computing industry worldwide.

South Africa has a recent history of addressing alleged tech industry abuses.

In 2023, Google was ordered to improve the visibility of smaller South African businesses in search results and financially support their training.

CompCom is also investigating whether major platforms like Microsoft’s Bing restrict news and media companies’ ability to generate revenue.

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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