Competition in the cloud
11 September 2019
We invite you for the event organised on 11 September about the potential risks of increased concentration in the market for cloud services, and possible solutions to address these risks.
We have teamed up with the Internet Economy Foundation, which recently published a study on competition in the cloud market to explore how we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and falling into the trap of single-vendor market concentration that has proven difficult to escape.
Often without being aware, Europeans entrust sensitive personal and business data to cloud solutions every day. Services such as Google Docs & Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Todoist, Spotify and cloud infrastructure services such as Amazon Web Services are becoming the de-facto operating systems of modern life and work. Increased market concentration in this field could result in consumers, businesses and public administrations end up tied to expensive, inflexible products that they cannot leave because data is locked-in or there are no serious alternatives. A new technology always risks market concentration, as one vendor leverages its advantage before the environment can adapt, however, policy environment that supports competition by leveraging interoperability and open standards has proven to be a decisive tool for the public good. Some of the questions we will tackle include:
– What we can learn from past technology driven market concentration?
– What policy options should policymakers consider? Should the European Commission continue its course of self-regulation?
– Should the Commission consider focusing on setting incentives for competition or propose legislation on interoperability?
– What role can public procurement play in shaping the market?
– What role will the cloud market play in the future for businesses, governments and citizens?
Agustin Reyna, Marcel Kolaja and Peter Ganten