The UK's communication regulator Ofcom on Thursday announced a probe into the Cloud market dominance of Amazon, Microsoft and Google in the country's 15 billion pound Cloud services market and if the competition concerns are identified, it could lead to further action against the tech giants.
Ofcom also kicked off a probe to look at digital services such as WhatsApp, Zoom and smart speakers, as online and traditional networks converge.
"The way we live, work, play and do business has been transformed by digital services. But as the number of platforms, devices and networks that serve up content continues to grow, so do the technological and economic issues confronting regulators," said Selina Chadha, Ofcom's Director of Connectivity.
"That's why we're kick-starting a programme of work to scrutinise these digital markets, identify any competition concerns and make sure they're working well for people and businesses who rely on them," she added.
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.
"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. In these circumstances, Ofcom can make recommendations to the government to change regulations or policy and take competition or consumer enforcement action," it emphasised.
Ofcom said it has engaged closely with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in planning the market study.
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," said Ofcom.