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 United Kingdom.

In the coming weeks, Ofcom will launch a market study under the Enterprise Act 2002 into the United Kingdom's cloud sector. The largest providers of cloud services, known as "hyperscalers", are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google. Collectively, these three firms 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. It will examine the strength of competition in cloud services generally and the position the three 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.

On launch of the market study, Ofcom will invite initial views on the UK cloud market from interested or affected parties. Ofcom says that it plans to consult on its interim findings and publish a final report, including any concerns or proposed recommendations, within 12 months.

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.

For further information on this topic please contact Marcus Bagnall at Wiggin by telephone (+44 20 7612 9612) or email ([email protected]). The Wiggin website can be accessed at www.wiggin.co.uk.