Microsoft offers to change cloud practices to settle antitrust complaints-source


By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, March 28 (Reuters) - Microsoft MSFT.O has offered to change its cloud computing practices to settle antitrust complaints filed by its smaller rivals, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday, a move that will stave off an EU investigation.

French cloud computing services provider OVHcloud OVH.PA, Italian cloud service provider Aruba and a Danish association of cloud service providers had complained to the European Commission about Microsoft's cloud practices and licensing deals.

The U.S. software group has put forward a concrete proposal, building on last year's announcement by its president, Brad Smith, the person said.

The Commission, which acts as the competition enforcer for the 27-country European Union and has fined Microsoft more than 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in the past decade, will monitor the settlement, the person said.

Microsoft said: "We are grateful for the productive conversations that led us there and appreciate the feedback that we have received since."

The EU antitrust watchdog, Aruba, OVH and the Danish Cloud Community did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reuters reported last week that rivals wanted Microsoft to do more to resolve their complaints after an initial offer fell short. The person said this piled pressure on the company to improve its proposal.

Bloomberg first reported on the imminent deal.

($1 = 0.9223 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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