Microsoft Bows To EU Competition Concerns Over Teams

Microsoft announced Thursday that it will unbundle its Teams communications from its popular Office suite in an effort to allay EU antitrust concerns.

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In July, the European Commission opened an investigation to see whether the US tech giant was “abusing and defending its market position” by bundling the software together.

If the commission’s investigation finds Microsoft guilty, the corporation might face a large fine or other penalties.

To address the concerns, Microsoft will unbundle Teams from its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites in the European Economic Area and Switzerland beginning October 1, according to Nanna-Louise Linde, the company’s vice president of European government affairs.

Customers will now be able to buy the software without Teams at a lower price, she added.

“We are announcing proactive changes that we hope will start to address these concerns in a meaningful way, even while the European Commission’s investigation continues and we cooperate with it,” Linde wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft Teams is included with its cloud-based Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites, which comprise Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Excel.

Teams is a communication platform that enables users to communicate via texts, video calls, and file sharing.

The investigation was sparked by a July 2020 complaint from Slack, a US startup competitor to Teams that was later acquired by Salesforce.

The commission was particularly concerned that Microsoft may have restricted interoperability between its productivity suites and competing competitors.

Microsoft will now make it easier for rivals’ software to work with the firm’s own.

There is no set deadline for the EU’s investigation to be completed.

“We will continue to engage with the commission, listen to concerns in the marketplace, and remain open to exploring pragmatic solutions that benefit both customers and developers in Europe,” Linde said.

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