In February, leaders of seven open-source companies talked about filing a competition case against Amazon Web Services (AWS). That is what the New York Times writes. This would include MongoDB, a data organisation tool for documents.
According to reports, Amazon regularly copies open source apps and is part of its Amazon Web Services cloud platform. The top executives eventually decided not to institute legal proceedings, partly because it would “take up too much time”.
The U.S. trade watchdog FTC met with competitors of Amazon Web Services last year, although no official investigation into the company has yet been opened.
The Amsterdam startup Elastic did file a lawsuit against the company, which has been running since September this year.
Their free search tool ElasticSearch is said to have been copied by Amazon in 2015. The Amazon variant, also called ElasticSearch, was offered for sale.
According to the New York Times, within a year Amazon earned more from the tool than Elastic, which earns its money from customer service and management of the tool. Elasic therefore added premium services to the tool, which were then also copied by Amazon.
Amazon then complained in a blog post that Elastic was hurting customers by shielding the services from free users. “False selflessness”, says Elastic-CEO Shay Banon.
Elastic went to court this year. Amazon is abusing the trademark ElasticSearch and causing confusion, according to the company.
The startup has been growing fast since 2015. But sources tell the New York Times that the costs of this type of copying are often invisible. It would be difficult to calculate how much money they lost to Amazon, and how much potential investors stayed away out of fear of Amazon.
Largest cloud provider
Amazon Web Services is the largest cloud provider in the world. The company now offers 175 cloud tools. The ease of use of the services, which are coordinated with each other, is one of the main reasons why AWS attracts so many customers.
At the same time, it makes it difficult for open source companies to gain a foothold. They are often dependent on AWS, but according to the New York Times, they are struggling with aggressive strategies from Amazon.
For example, the company is said to have actively attempted to hijack Redis Labs staff. In addition, companies complain about the amount of money they have to give up to the platform, which also facilitates the sale of services.