To ensure that there is healthy competition in the market, Ofcom, the UK’s broadcasting and telecoms regulator, is starting an investigation into the cloud services that internet giants provide in the coming weeks. The regulatory body has also said that it will soon look at texting and video calling services, as well as smart and linked gadgets. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and Google are the three largest cloud providers in the area, and they will be the focus of Ofcom’s market examination into the cloud.
In the UK’s market for cloud infrastructure services, which is worth £15 billion ($16.95 billion), the three providers account for 81 percent of revenue. With these tech behemoths controlling the market, Ofcom’s investigation will evaluate how well it is functioning. Additionally, it will look at how fiercely the market is competitive and whether it is currently tough for new competitors to enter and increase their market share.
According to Ofcom, it wants to head off any possible competition issues before they grow into major problems as the market for cloud services develops. After all, a lack of healthy competition could stunt growth and innovation and result in subpar service. If the regulator finds that the market isn’t functioning properly, it may suggest to the government that certain regulations be changed, initiate enforcement action on its own, or report the matter to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It should be noted that the CMA is currently looking into distinct Google ad tech practises.
Over the following year, the agency will also start investigations to look at other digital markets. It will evaluate how messaging and video calling services like WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Zoom compare to more conventional calling and texting techniques. Ofcom wants to know how the market might change in the future and whether the incompatibility of the services’ cross-calling and cross-messaging features warrants concern.
The agency also intends to investigate the competition in the smart speaker and TV space. It plans to analyze consumer behavior, as well as the bargaining power of major players with companies that provide content for the devices.
Selina Chadha, Ofcom’s Director of Connectivity, said:
“The way we live, work, play and do business has been transformed by digital services. But as the number of platforms, devices and networks that serve up content continues to grow, so do the technological and economic issues confronting regulators.
That’s why we’re kick-starting a programme of work to scrutinise these digital markets, identify any competition concerns and make sure they’re working well for people and businesses who rely on them.”