SIIA Addresses Cloud Computing, Competition, and Innovation at FTC Hearing

Testimony made by Morten Skroejer:

Chair Khan, Commissioners: I am here today on behalf of the Software & Information Industry Association, and I’d like to make a few comments about cloud computing and competition.

Cloud computing is less than 20 years old and cannot be viewed in isolation; it is, after all, only a minor part of the overall IT industry. According to some estimates, cloud services comprised just 15% of total IT spend in 2021. Customers choosing cloud have a range of providers: all the top 10 global IT companies by revenue offer at least some cloud services, and there are more than 1,600 cloud infrastructure startups, nine of them unicorns.

As the use of cloud computing expands, all of these companies compete fiercely to innovate and offer their customers new products at low prices. The cloud has also helped to democratize access to technology. It provides consumers better opportunities to buy and use increasingly sophisticated IT offerings. Nowhere is this more true than for the use of AI. Today, even small companies need the capacity to manage and manipulate mind-numbing amounts of data. AI enables them to automate these routine processes, quickly analyze essential data, and develop new services, all of which allows them to compete effectively.

That said, software licensing restrictions designed with legacy technology in mind could harm the ability of the IT sector to remain dynamic and highly competitive. While we urge a cautious approach, and do not recommend unilateral FTC action, we believe this is an area that merits further study.



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