Amazon Faces US Antitrust Scrutiny on Cloud Business: Report


US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has broadened its scrutiny of beyond retail operations to include its cloud-computing business, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The US antitrust enforcers have been asking software companies about practices around Amazon’s cloud unit Amazon Web Services, the report said.

Big tech companies such as Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Apple, and Amazon face a slew of antitrust probes by the federal government, state attorneys general and congress.

FTC’s Technology Enforcement Division was focusing its probes of multi-sided platforms on illegal conduct and mergers that previously won antitrust approval.

FTC declined to comment, while Amazon did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

In cloud computing, one of the fastest-growing areas in the technology industry, businesses rent out servers from Amazon instead of running their own data centres.

Amazon is the biggest cloud services provider, competing most closely with Microsoft. Smaller companies also compete to provide services on cloud networks to developers and corporate customers.

Analysts expect Amazon’s cloud unit, which is the global leader in terms of market share, to generate $34.9 billion in sales in 2019, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

In addition to the FTC probes, the Justice Department and House of Representatives Judiciary Committee are investigating all four big tech companies.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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