Ofcom to probe cloud, messenger and smart-device markets

Ofcom to probe cloud, messenger and smart-device markets
a selection of photographs taken for the Ofcom Cardiff photo library

LONDON, UK: Ofcom is to examine the position of Amazon, Microsoft and Google in cloud services, as part of a new programme of work to ensure that digital communications markets are working well for people and businesses in the UK.

Cloud market study

In the coming weeks, Ofcom will launch a market study under the Enterprise Act 2002 into the UK’s cloud sector. The largest providers of cloud services – known as ‘hyperscalers’ – are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google. Collectively, these three firms generate around 81% of revenues in the UK public cloud infrastructure services market.

Our study will formally assess how well this market is working. We will examine the strength of competition in cloud services generally and the position the three hyperscalers hold in the market. We will also consider any market features that might limit innovation and growth in this sector by making it difficult for other companies to enter the market and expand their share.

When we launch the market study, we will invite initial views on the UK cloud market from interested or affected parties. We plan to consult on our interim findings and publish a final report – including any concerns or proposed recommendations – within twelve months.

WhatsApp, Zoom and smart speakers

Over the next year, Ofcom will also start a broader programme of work to examine other digital markets, including online personal communication apps and devices for accessing audiovisual content.

We are interested in how services such as WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom are affecting the role of traditional calling and messaging, and how competition and innovation in these markets may evolve over the coming years. We also want to understand whether any limitations on their ability to interact with each other raises potential concerns.

Another future area of focus for Ofcom is the nature and intensity of competition among digital personal assistants and audiovisual ‘gateways’ – such as connected televisions and smart speakers – through which people access traditional TV and radio, as well as online content.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.