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Microsoft to sign multimillion-euro deal to make EU antitrust complaint go away

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Cloud lobbying group CISPE’s EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft might be revoked soon. Microsoft is reportedly preparing to sign a multimillion-euro deal with CISPE to withdraw its complaint. While proposals have been made, no agreement has been reached yet.

A spokesperson for the CISPE confirmed the talk with Microsoft and told The Register that discussions with the Windows maker are ongoing. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has tried to settle the matter with the group, either. In May 2023, Redmond’s first offer was rejected. The group stated that while it’s happy to settle the matter, it has “minimum requirements” before it expects the negotiations to move along.

Specific details are under wraps at the moment. Still, Microsoft’s deal could mean paying off a significant amount of money to CISPE to completely revoke the EU antitrust complaint or reduce its severity to avoid a lengthy investigation and subsequent court battle. Settling out of court might also be better for Microsoft than an investigation, which can bring heavy fines and changes the company will be forced to make.

When asked about the deal, a Microsoft spokesperson simply claimed that the company was working ‘constructively’ with CISPE “to resolve concerns raised by European cloud providers.” If the deal goes through, it can save Microsoft a lot of time, effort, and trouble.

However, the Windows-maker is in trouble on multiple fronts, with various organisations such as Google, AWS, Coalition for Fair Software Licensing (CFSL) and even the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blasting the software giant over its anti-competitive and aggressive licensing practices.

This isn’t CISPE’s and Microsoft’s first bout, either. The cloud lobbying group had previously issued the software giant with an ultimatum over Windows’ licensing practices. While Microsoft did soften up its licensing agreements, it continued to offer a discount on its software products when bundled with Azure cloud services, making user costs higher for other cloud service providers. Both Google and AWS criticised Microsoft’s new terms, with the former calling Redmond’s cloud software licensing a ‘tax’.

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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