Back in January this year, we reported that the European Union (EU) may open an antitrust probe into Microsoft over Teams, its colloboration and communication platform. The allegation was that Microsoft was unfairly bundling Microsoft Teams with its widely-used Microsoft Office suite.
Today, FT reported that Microsoft will stop bundling Teams with Office to avoid antitrust investigation by the European Union. With this change, enterprises can install Office suite with or without Teams based on their preference. It remains unclear if Microsoft’s proposed change to Teams bundling will be enough to appease concerns of European Commission.
Microsoft offered the following comment to FT in response to this story:
“We are mindful of our responsibilities in the EU as a major technology company. We continue to engage cooperatively with the commission in its investigation and are open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well.”
“We’re confident that we win on the merits of our product, but we can’t ignore illegal behavior that deprives customers of access to the tools and solutions they want,” said Jonathan Prince, Vice President of Communications and Policy at Slack when they filed complaint against Microsoft back in 2020. “Slack threatens Microsoft’s hold on business email, the cornerstone of Office, which means Slack threatens Microsoft’s lock on enterprise software.”
“Slack simply wants fair competition and a level playing field. Healthy competition drives innovation and creates the best products and the most choice for customers. Competition and antitrust laws are designed to ensure that dominant companies are not allowed to foreclose competition illegally. We’re asking the EU to be a neutral referee, examine the facts, and enforce the law,” said David Schellhase, General Counsel at Slack.