European cloud market is being dominated by three big players

Racks of servers inside a data center.
(Image credit: Future)

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and Google now control nearly three-quarters (72%) of the European enterprise cloud storage market, a new study has claimed.

Synergy Research Group found tha, although cloud hosting providers local to the region have seen revenues rise by 167% since 2017, they've also taken a huge hit to their market share - which has fallen from 27% to just 13% within the same period, as the giant US providers have overtaken them.

Synergy claims that, out of all the European cloud providers, SAP and Deutsche Telekom are leading the pack - but account for just 2% of the European market, suggesting that smaller local providers are simply being overpowered.

"Big three" cloud monopoly

American companies encroaching on the region is likely why Europe remains a highly profitable region for the cloud industry. Synergy found that European cloud infrastructure service revenues were almost €27 billion this year, up 41% from the previous four quarters.

Synergy attributed the staggering success of large American companies in the European cloud space to their ability to invest big in areas such as infrastructure and service quality, using their unbeatable resources to outstrip European competitors by a huge margin.

“The cloud market is a game of scale where aspiring leaders have to place huge financial bets, must have a long-term view of investments and profitability, must maintain a focused determination to succeed, and must consistently achieve operational excellence” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy Research Group.

He added: “No European companies have come close to that set of criteria and the result is a market where the six leaders are all US companies.”

European cloud providers fighting back

Not everyone is happy about the success of American tech giants in the European cloud market.

The French cloud computing firm OVHcloud has lodged an antitrust complaint against Microsoft, alleging that Microsoft licenses its office software in such a way as to make alternative products more costly for businesses using cloud services other than Azure. 

The might of the major cloud providers is also heading for major scrutiny in the United Kingdom, where media regulator Ofcom is set to launch an investigation into the state of the local cloud computing market.

The study will look to formally assess how well this market is working and will examine the strength of competition between cloud service providers.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.