Over the course of several months I have spoken to business software users of all sizes and across sectors. Some users were fearful of possible reprisals if they spoke out against alleged unfair practices. Even some large users of cloud services recognised that they could not do without the core productivity suites that these software companies control.
This is an important piece of research at a key moment from one of the world’s leading experts on competition. Professor Jenny’s work clearly illustrates the power of some legacy software companies to leverage their existing market power to distort the emerging market for cloud infrastructure in Europe. Nascent European cloud providers, business customers and consumers across Europe all deserve to be protected from these unfair practices. I urge my colleagues to read the report and consider its findings as the debate and vote on amendments to the DMA.
MEP Stephanie Yon-Courtin
Clearly, several large software players seek to use their license agreements to limit competition and choices. Our members see this every day and are adamant that these practices are effectively prevented by the DMA.
Dr. Hans-Joachim Popp at Voice
We find it very encouraging that world-class research has documented these critical imbalances in the European market for cloud services. For years, it has been well-known to the members of the Danish Cloud Community and to their customers that unfair licensing and contractual terms tie them to certain cloud platforms. Also that these platforms operate with flat or even increasing prices in a market, where it is well known that IT equipment constantly becomes cheaper considering the price/performance ratio. The benefits from Moore’s Law has historically been given to the customers, but now it is the fact that the benefits are taken by some legacy software providers with own cloud platforms, at the same time giving European cloud infrastructure providers very little possibility to compete in the future.
Jens Erik Thorndahl
CEO, Danish Cloud Community
The findings of Prof. Jenny's research confirm what the Dutch Cloud Community has been seeing among its members for years. Licensing practices are being abused by parties with a de facto monopoly to strangle the independent cloud providers. Ultimately, if nothing is done, this will lead to the disappearance of the European Cloud Industry. It is essential to fight this abuse of power and restore a level playing field by including the principles of fair software licensing in the DMA.
Managing Director of the Dutch Cloud Community
This independent study by Professor Jenny, a recognised economist, objectifies the observations made consistently by Cigref members over many years. It provides a factual assessment of the economic consequences of the unfair practices that Cigref regularly denounces. It is important to regulate these practices, which are mainly carried out by non-European providers. These practices constitute an illegitimate drain on the European economy and contribute to stifling the digital innovation of European players through killing acquisitions.
Secretary General of Cigref
This report is no surprise to our members. We have seen the stringent enforcement of one-sided and unfair software licensing terms by a few large vendors seeking to limit choice and exclude alternative providers for years. These practices cannot be allowed to extend where innovative businesses need the flexibility and choice of a range of suppliers in order to develop and deliver the next generation of services and products to people across Europe.
President of Asociación Española de Startups
We’d heard from our members, and from their customers, that certain legacy software providers were limiting choice in cloud infrastructure through unfair license terms. We commissioned Professor Jenny to make a study of these practices and their impact, to support the Principle of Fair Software Licensing we crafted with Cigref. The Study clearly demonstrates the need for the Principles, and for the DMA to include them within its provisions. This is a significant issue which requires legislation as well as voluntary adoption of our Principles to ensure compliance and a better deal for European businesses and consumers.