Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Airbus, and 15 other European companies have criticized the latest draft of the European Union's cybersecurity certification scheme (CCS), which they claim will make it easier for hyperscalers to bid for EU cloud computing contracts.

The companies have written a joint letter to authorities in their countries and to senior European Commission officials stating that the latest draft should be rejected due to the lack of sovereignty requirements. The news was first reported by Reuters.

European Commission
The EU wants to make it easier for cloud hyperscalers to bid for contracts – dimitrisvetsikas1969 / 15115 images

The newest draft has relaxed previous requirements that vendors be independent of non-EU laws.

The US tech giants including Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google will no longer need to set up a joint venture with a local company to store and process data, should the draft be approved. It remains under review by EU countries and will be discussed on April 15.

The letter said: "The inclusion of EU-HQ and European control requirements in the main scheme is necessary to mitigate the risk of unlawful data access on the basis of foreign laws." The companies warned that data could be accessed by foreign governments under laws including the US Cloud Act and the Chinese National Intelligence Law.

The letter goes on to recommend that the CCS should encourage European businesses to consider sovereign cloud products from local providers, such as those that comply with cloud standards developed by Europe's Gaia-X project.

"Removing such requirements from the scheme would seriously undermine the viability of sovereign cloud solutions in Europe – many of which are either in development or already available on the market," the companies said.

Other signatories behind the letter include French power group EDF, OVHcloud, Italy's Aruba and Dassault Systems, Germany's Ionos, Telecom Italia, Austria's Exoscale, French tech company Capgemini and Eutelsat.

US companies, led by hyperscaler trio AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, dominate the European cloud computing market, and local providers have long complained that these platforms use their size to gain an unfair advantage. Microsoft has been in talks with CISPE, an association of European cloud providers after the association raised concerns that the licensing terms of some Microsoft products could unfairly hinder smaller rivals.

DCD has contacted the European Commission for its response to the letter.