EU clears up to 1.2 billion euros of state aid for cloud computing

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission approved on Tuesday up to 1.2 billion euros ($1.30 billion) of state aid for a European cloud computing project in a bid to boost the involvement of EU business in a field dominated by U.S. companies.

The project, called IPCEI Next Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI CIS), was jointly notified by seven European Union states, namely: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.

Those countries will provide up to 1.2 billion euros in public funding, which in turn is expected to unlock 1.4 billion euros in private investments, the European Commission said.

The European Union’s IPCEIs are designed to bring together research, finances and business to boost EU economic growth and competitiveness and drive its green and digital transitions.

The EU had previously approved six IPCEIs in batteries, hydrogen and microelectronics and communication technologies.

The European cloud technology project features 19 companies, including French companies Atos and Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia and Telefonica Espana.

The three biggest players in cloud computing are Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

($1 = 0.9228 euros)

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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