Home Cloud Computing UK’s Ofcom to probe cloud services, messenger apps, and smart devices

UK’s Ofcom to probe cloud services, messenger apps, and smart devices


FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Zoom could be in the crosshairs of UK communications regulator Ofcom, which has announced a probe into cloud services, messenger apps, and smart devices. It’s just the latest in a global sequence of regulatory investigations likely to impact Big Tech.

UK is looking into the clouds

The UK regulator says it plans to examine the positions of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in the UK’s $17 billion cloud services market. These three “hyperscalers” account for the vast majority (81%) of that market.

Enterprises became much more reliant on cloud services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Gartner predicts 45% of IT spending will be on public cloud by 2026, for example.

The Ofcom investigation will extend to how the cloud is used. “The cloud has become an essential part of how products are delivered to telecoms users, as well as viewers and listeners of TV, radio and audio content,” Ofcom said. “If we find a market is not working well, there can be negative impacts on businesses and ultimately consumers, through higher prices, lower service quality and reduced innovation.”

Regulators in other nations will no doubt monitor the progress of the investigation as they seek to maintain their own level competitive playing fields.

The newly announced study will include a look at digital services such as WhatsApp, Zoom, and FaceTime, as well as the market for smart speakers; the latter will draw many names into the picture, including, no doubt, Apple’s HomePod.

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