The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has launched a study in order to find out whether the market for cloud services is functioning well for people and businesses in the Netherlands. The objective of the first phase of this study is the collection of information. For example, ACM will look into the design (technical or otherwise) of cloud services, and what the implications thereof are on services that function on the basis of cloud services. In addition, ACM will also assess whether there are any market imperfections such as market power, lock-in effects, and information asymmetry. ACM expects this first phase of the study to be completed by September. ACM will then decide whether a more in-depth study should be carried out.
Many businesses, organizations, and government agencies use cloud services. Cloud services are services that users rent in data centers located across the globe for computational power, storage, and software purposes. In that way, users only pay for what they use, and are thus able to scale up or down relatively easily. As such, cloud services are a key element of the digital economy.
The digital economy is one of ACM’s key priorities. Cloud services are a part thereof. The objective of this market study is to expand our knowledge about cloud services. Cloud services are on the list of core-platform services in the draft version of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the European Commission (EC). That means that it is possible that, at some point, cloud services operated by businesses that have been designated as gatekeepers may fall under the scope of this act.
In order to get a complete as possible picture of cloud services, ACM over the next few months will sit down with providers and users of cloud services, Dutch and other European experts, academics, and other regulators. Do you have any information about this topic, and would you like to help us in this study? Please contact us. You can do so by sending an email to info [at] acm [punt] nl.