Microsoft has acquired 130 hectares of land across two sites in Sweden.

The neighboring municipalities of Gävle and Sandviken in the Stockholm region sold the land for SEK 269 million (US$29.6m). Microsoft confirmed the purchase, but did not provide details on what it plans to do with the land. However, considering the size of the plots, the most likely scenario is that the company is considering building data centers at the locations.

In 2017, Google acquired 109 hectares of land in the Avesta municipality in the Dalarna region of Sweden, at the time saying that it may build a data center at the site, but had no immediate plans to do so.

Land grab

"It is very exciting that a company like Microsoft, with such magnitude in the digital infrastructure, is interested in large land areas in our region. Our goal is to ensure that this becomes one of the region's largest industrial establishments," Patrik Stenvard, chairman of the municipal council in Gävle, said.

Tora Holm, business developer at Invest Stockholm, added: "Together with Microsoft and our partners we are now focusing on building and creating the conditions needed to ensure the successful completion of this project."

The acquisition comes just as rival cloud company Amazon Web Services opened its Swedish region, with three data centers in Stockholm.