Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has taken a dig at Amazon and Google, accusing them of effectively rigging their systems to the detriment of retailers.
Speaking to CNBC’s Jon Fortt, Nadella attacked the rivals to his Microsoft Azure cloud platform, saying: “Amazon and Google both are fantastic at being able to rig transactions”.
Responding to a question on Amazon’s focus on the grocery market, he suggested Amazon’s retail partners are now unsure as to whether the platform is going to properly cater to their individual business models.
Nadella was even more scathing towards Google, accusing the platform of having a “nice two-sided market”, and attacking its business model, whereby “[when] there’s more demand, there are higher prices.”
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He said Google customers are “essentially subsidising their own tax increase”, and should consider how that model will work in the long run.
“That’s where I feel like long-run business model trust is going to be so important,” he said.
The interview drew several comparisons between Amazon and Microsoft, with Nadella commenting on his rival’s innovations in the internet of things, and noting similarities in their approaches to AI-related tools, while pointedly leaving out Google’s offerings.
He said: “One real common ground we have between us is that we believe in our personal digital assistants, whether it’s Alexa and Cortana, in fact, working with each other.”
“I think, at least in our case, when it comes to Azure, we are building it out as an open ecosystem. A distributed ecosystem that addresses the world’s needs, and we’ll have strong competition.”
However, he maintained the importance of the relationship with retailers, and suggested that Microsoft is firmly in the lead in that respect.
“What I think is going to be important here is increasingly trust. What I mean by that is it’s not just about capital,” he said.
“Trust not just in the technology, the ethics around AI, privacy, security — all that also matters — [but] trust in business model, where that alignment of your interests as a customer and the interests of the provider are fully aligned.”