Dispute for ownership of azure resources and forced transfer

Copper Contributor

Hi guys,


I have a legal case regarding azure resource ownership. The situation in short is as follows:

A Business Company engages a Tech Company in a partnership to develop its software. Both parties are from different countries.

The tech partner applies for a Bizspark on behalf of the Business Partner with its credentials and company details. The tech partner develops the software and builds the production environment on azure infrastructure using the Bizspark subscription of the business partner. The sole admin account owner email address granted with bizspark subscription belongs to a person from the tech partner, not to the business partner.


At some point the bizspark subscription is decommissioned/expired by Microsoft and is not renewed but it allows the infrastructure to continue running.


Aprox. a year later (bizspark already expired) the business partner decides to NOT pay the tech partner. for its services and is materially breaching the contract in place on several points. The business partner is overdue with a lot of payments.

Instead of paying what's agreed, the business partner decides that it will be cheaper to ask Microsoft Support for help and forcefully transfer the Resources to its account.


At first Microsoft refuses to do so and respond that it's not in their permissions - "After reviewing all of the presented data, Microsoft has not found sufficient legal substantiation to necessitate a change of ownership to be actioned by Microsoft."

Soon after Microsoft change their mind and does forced transfer.


Few things to note as they are important:

1. The tech partner owns the only account, managing the resources and it's an admin account.

2. The credit card used for this account belongs on the business partner but is disabled by them and azure payments are failing.

3. Bizspark subscription is decommissioned a year ago, but was still in use.

4. Microsoft is provided with evidence that the partner is in breach and is overdue with its payments.

5. Microsoft secretly communicates with the business partner excluding the admin account owner from the comms despite being asked for transparency.

6. Microsoft informs all parties that it is opening a case with Legal and Corporate team, but doesn't provide ticket Id neither includes a representative of Legal and Corporate in the comms (after being requested twice). (note - it's a practice for Microsoft to include the representative dealing with a case)

7. Microsoft reactivates the subscription without the approval of the admin account owner on the last day before it gets cancelled due to last credit card attempt (which would've failed because the credit card is disabled). That way Microsoft helps to to keep the resources under the bizspark subscription so that they can later on have a reason to do forced transfer.

8. Tech partner starts another case regarding all this with second Microsoft representative, however the first Microsoft representative takes over the new case and shuts down the visibility of the second representative without informing the tech partner.

9. Finally, Microsoft does a forced transfer of resources without asking for approval and informing the admin account owner. Post Factum Microsoft communicates that "Under the BizSpark program terms of use and guidelines, legal ownership of the Azure subscription and its contents falls to the owning entity of the underlying BizSpark entitlement." For some reason this decision took them 1 month. Also, I couldn't find such terms on the Bizspark Policy.


The key points here are that Microsoft on two occasions acts without any transparency and without the approval of the admin account holder to reactivate a decommissioned bizspark subscription with failing payments which was about to auto cancel and to forcefully transfer the azure resources on a shady legal investigation.


Can you please elaborate on the topic as i'd be glad to hear different opinions and advises and decide how to act next.


Thanks and apologies for the long topic.

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