HomeInsightsOfcom announces it is to probe cloud, messenger and smart-device markets

On 6 October, Ofcom launched a market study under the Enterprise Act 2022 into the UK’s cloud services market. Ofcom is inviting initial views from interested parties, including cloud providers, independent software vendors, suppliers of professional services and customers.

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.

The largest providers of cloud services, known as “hyperscalers”, are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google. Collectively, they generate around 81% of revenues in the UK public cloud infrastructure services market.

Ofcom’s study will formally assess how well this market is working – examining the strength of competition in cloud services generally and the position hyperscalers hold in the market. Ofcom 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.

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. The regulator is 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. It also wants to understand whether any limitations on their ability to interact with each other raises potential concerns.

Ofcom also says that another future area of focus is the nature and intensity of competition among digital personal assistants and audiovisual “gateways”, such as connected TVs and smart speakers, through which people access traditional TV and radio, as well as online content. To read Ofcom’s news release, click here.