Amazon is the driving force behind a trio of advocacy groups working to thwart Microsoft’s growing ambition to become a major cloud computing contractor for governments, a Bloomberg analysis shows. From the report: The groups — the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE), the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing and the Alliance for Digital Innovation — want to convince policymakers that Microsoft has improperly locked customers into Azure, its cloud computing service, choking off its rivals and hindering the advancement of technology within the government and beyond. These groups have dozens of members. But Amazon is the biggest funder for two of them and the largest company, measured by revenue, that funds another.Spokespeople for the groups say no single company determines their agendas. But according to a Bloomberg News review of tax filings, documents and interviews with people familiar with the three groups’ operations, Amazon Web Services plays a direct role in shaping their efforts in ways that would boost the cloud giant. Through aggressive lobbying of policymakers, these groups want to ensure that customers can use popular Microsoft products like Office Suite or Windows on any cloud computing system — and, in particular, on Amazon Web Services, the world’s number one cloud infrastructure provider and the retail giant’s top profit driver.
To hammer that message, they’ve filed complaints, lobbied regulators and sought to shape the views of policymakers probing the cloud market. In one case, an Amazon executive is listed as the author of a public comment to the Federal Trade Commission, as well as testimony and letters to Congress on behalf of the group, according to an analysis of the documents’ metadata, revealing the tech giant’s role in the lobbying campaign. (The group says the documents reflect the consensus position of its members.) Amazon denied it authored statements for the group.