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Amazon Web ServicesAmazon Web Services will cut the cost of its EC2 basic compute services among a limited number of regions by up to 25 percent starting Dec. 1, depending on the region and the type of EC2 instance purchased, the market-leading public cloud provider said in a blog post today.

The announcement highlights the ongoing price competition characterizing the public cloud market, which sees regular price cuts among AWS and competitors Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Pricing for C4 instances, the highest-performing EC2 instance available, will drop up to 5 percent in the U.S. East (Northern Virginia) and E.U. (Ireland) regions and 20 percent in the Asia Pacific (Mumbai) and Asia Pacific (Sydney) regions. M4 instances, used for general-purpose computing, will be cut by up to 10 percent in U.S. East (Northern Virginia), E.U. (Ireland), and E.U. (Frankfurt) and by 25 percent in Asia Pacific (Singapore). T2 instances, which are baseline general-purpose instances that allow for bursts of higher-intensity computing, will see reductions of up to 10 percent in U.S. East (Northern Virginia) and 25 percent in Asia Pacific (Singapore).

AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr said the cut is the company’s 53rd.

Microsoft cloud VP Scott Guthrie declared in September that Azure and AWS aren’t competing as much on price as they once did. But just weeks later, Microsoft cut prices on some of its virtual machines. And third-place cloud provider Google cut some storage prices last month.

Accurately figuring the price of competing cloud services can be challenging — the more contemporary (and arguably more complex) version of interpreting licensing agreements. Each of the three major vendors offers discounts, but they’re all figured differently and vary by region. Rather than having lawyers on staff to interpret licensing agreements, companies now might profit from having specialized accountants to intensively analyze the terms of cloud services and provide guidance on the best deals.

Though each of the Big Three provides an online cost calculator, “I don’t know of any free tool that lets you compare pricing among the top cloud providers,” said Brian Adler, director of enterprise architecture at consultancy RightScale, during a recent webinar on cloud pricing. “Each one tries to make it look best for itself.”

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