But technical differences could be harder to regulate
As cloud infrastructure vendors become increasingly competitive, it is important for customers to be able to easily move their workloads between different providers. This may present a challenge for some users, as the two dominant players in the market—Amazon and Microsoft—have been reported to make it difficult to move data Between public clouds.
One of the main issues that Ofcon will be investigating is egress fees. these companies charge when customers want to move data from their platforms, which can often be a barrier to using their services. Additionally, some general restrictions on interoperability and portability may also need to be addressed. Finally, discounts used by these companies to keep companies with large workloads on their platforms may also need to be scrutinized.
The largest cloud vendors have been known to put up roadblocks in order to keep customers from switching, which can advantage the smaller competitors. These companies are able to lock users into their services by making it difficult for them to switch, often leading people towards companies who offer fewer options and lower quality service.
Although the inquiry suggests that these companies are keeping their customers in the fold by purposefully inflating prices, this could just be an observational mistake on behalf of Ofcon. The increase in pricing for cloud computing services may actually be serving as a deterrent for users who are constantly looking for a better deal, and businesses could see a decrease in productivity as a result.
One important trend to watch as companies fight for customers is whether they are setting up systems to make it difficult for customers to switch. This becomes an issue when these companies have a significant market share, as it can give them more power in negotiations with suppliers.
Anticompetitive behavior is something that should be looked out for by companies in the marketplace, as it can lead to a less competitive market. Microsoft and Amazon both say they are working with Ofcon and are committed to a competitive market in the U.K., but do these groups investigating anticompetitive behavior have a point? After all, it’s possible that companies are acting in a competitive way and not realizing it.