British media regulator Ofcom is investigating Amazon, Microsoft and Google’s tight grip on the cloud computing industry.
In the coming weeks, the watchdog will launch a study to examine the position of firms offering public cloud infrastructure and whether they pose any barriers to competition.
Its probe, announced Thursday, will focus on so-called “hyperscalers” like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, which let businesses access computing power and data storage from remote servers, rather than host it on their own private infrastructure.
Further action could be taken by the regulator if it finds the companies are harming competition. Selina Chadha, Ofcom’s director of connectivity, said the regulator hadn’t yet reached a view on whether the cloud giants are engaged in anticompetitive behavior. Ofcom said it will conclude its review and publish a final report including any concerns and proposed recommendations within the 12 months.
Amazon, Microsoft and Google were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
The review will form part of a broader digital strategy push by Ofcom, which regulates the broadcasting and telecommunications industries in the U.K.
It also plans to investigate other digital markets, including personal messaging and virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, over the next year.
Ofcom said it is interested in how services including Meta’s WhatsApp, Apple’s Facetime and Zoom have impacted traditional calling and messaging, as well as the competitive landscape among digital assistants, connected TVs and smart speakers.