Officials of the American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are investigating whether Amazon.com’s cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), has violated antitrust laws, according to sources.
The sources told Bloomberg that details of the case could not yet be disclosed at this time, nor did they say when this could happen. The sources did indicate that several companies that cooperate with AWS are being investigated by the FTC, but it is unclear what exactly is being investigated.
Silicon Angle is right to point out that the investigation is taking place at a time when the competition against AWS is increasing, with Microsoft and Google on the heels of the cloud-gigant. AWS even attacked Microsoft at the re:Invent event, arguing that Microsoft unduly maintained certain restrictions on the use of Windows and SQL server software.
Bloomberg argues that the FTC may be trying to determine whether AWS is discriminating against competitors. In the age of cloud adoption, many software companies run their applications on the AWS infrastructure, or make applications available to their customers via the Amazon Marketplace. These companies’ applications somteimes compete with AWS’ own services.
Investigations in the EU
The European Union is conducting its own investigation, which also focuses on the treatment of independent suppliers by the company. This study aims to reveal whether Amazon is using the data it collects about sellers in its e-commerce marketplace to give its own products an unfair advantage. Similar investigations are also being conducted in the case of Google and Facebook.
In short, Amazon is part of a group of tech companies that all have to deal with more supervision on all kinds of activities. Google and Facebook Inc. are the subject of antitrust investigations, and Apple is currently opposing a lawsuit that claims that consumers pay too much for apps because of monopolisation.