Amazon bends to Euro watchdogs, waives egress fees for folks ditching AWS

Now the pressure is on for Microsoft to stop holding user data hostage

Amazon Web Services has joined Google in waiving egress fees for customers looking to ditch its platform for a rival cloud provider or on-prem datacenter.

The offer, announced in a blog post Tuesday in response to imminent regulatory requirements in Europe at least, is aimed at users that want to permanently move large quantities of data out of AWS.

The cloud giant already provides 100GB a month of data egress at no cost, which it says is more than enough for "90 percent" of its customers. But, if you happen to need more than this to complete your migration, AWS says it's not going to hold you hostage and will even provide data transfer out (DTO) credits to bridge the gap.

Amazon emphasizes that you will need to contact support before beginning your migration, as it has no way of knowing "if the data transferred out to the internet is a normal part of your business or a one-time transfer as part of a switch to another cloud provider or on-premise."

Once approved, AWS will apply the DTO credits, giving customers 60 days to complete the move. For the curious, Amazon has an extensive FAQ breaking down the hoop-jumping required to claim your credits here.

There are reasons Amazon is making it easier for customers to leave its platform, and it's not out of the goodness of their hearts. The waiver on data transfer out to the internet charges follows direction set by the European Data Act.

This legislation, slated to go into effect in September 2025, introduces several mandates on how customer data is accessed and shared. This includes measures aimed at protecting EU businesses from "unfair contractual terms" and eventually allowing them to switch between cloud providers free of charge.

Europe is hoping to put a kibosh on cloud lock-in, in other words.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is also investigating major cloud providers' business practices, has also raised the issue of egress fees and other barriers which may make it harder for customers to switch between service providers.

The move comes a little over a month after Google announced it was waiving data egress fees for customers serious about leaving the platform. Amazon's announcement Tuesday closely mirrors Google's. In both cases, the waiver is aimed at customers leaving the platform and requires prior approval.

Amazon, unlike Google, isn't requiring users to close their accounts in order to qualify for the billing credits. "We don't require you to close your account or change your relationship with AWS in any way," the company states.

AWS will, however, look at any future requests for egress waivers with additional scrutiny to prevent users from abusing the system to avoid egress fees on large transfers. By contrast, Google is handling partial migrations on a case-by-case basis, and generally expects folks to terminate their accounts when complete.

Notably missing from this conversation is Microsoft, which has been the target of numerous complaints by Google and Amazon over its cloud licensing and business practices. Google has been particularly aggressive in this regard and has repeatedly called on regulators to take action against Redmond's monopolistic practices.

The Register asked Microsoft if it planned to follow Amazon and Google's lead on egress fees. The Windows maker told us it "has nothing to share at this time.” ®

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