EU Companies Issue Formal Complaint Concerning OneDrive Windows Integration

Published · Nov 29, 2021

The Coalition for a Level Playing Field has issued a complaint against Microsoft’s OneDrive Windows integration. It asserts that Microsoft’s aggressive promotion of its own apps is anti-competitive.

The Coalition is made up of various European cloud and software companies, including the European DIGITAL SME Alliance and the Document Foundation. Joined by several nonprofit, open-source firms, Nextcloud leads the complaint.

The cloud tech company asserts that by pushing customers to sign up for its products and hand over their data, Microsoft is limiting their choices.

Nextcloud points out that Microsoft has grown its market share to 66% in Europe. At the same time, the market share of local providers has shrunk from 26% to 16%.

The firm says that Microsoft is locking out the competition by leveraging its position. Nextcloud’s CEO, Frank Karlitschek, says that this is “quite similar” to the way Microsoft killed the competition in the browser market 20 years ago. This, in turn, stopped nearly all innovation.

Microsoft’s OneDrive is a solid storage solution, but healthy competition does tend to drive innovation.

Nextcloud isn’t the only cloud company with an anti-competitive grievance against Microsoft. Slack recently filed a competition complaint against Microsoft over its integration of MS Teams into MS Office.

Digital Domination

A trend is emerging in technology.

American companies dominate the Western market to the detriment of European services. If one looks at the best cloud hosting providers, the top three are AWS, Microsoft, and Google—all American-owned.

The runner-ups, such as IBM and Rackspace, are also American.

Even operating systems are largely US-based. Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS are all from American firms.

The UK recently made a deal with AWS for the creation of secure cloud storage for its security agencies. This is yet another indication of how American firms are more desired.

While this dominance increases revenue for American companies, it also allows them to leverage their position to push their own services in related industries. This is what Nextcloud and other European firms are fighting against.

At the current rate, Europe will have no independent local alternatives, which may end up becoming subsidiaries of American businesses.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.