Teams: Microsoft Threatens New EU Antitrust Investigation

Teams: Microsoft Threatens New EU Antitrust Investigation

At issue is the integration of Teams into Office 365. The EU is apparently demanding more far-reaching remedies than offered by Microsoft.

Microsoft is apparently threatened with another antitrust investigation by the European Commission. The trigger is a complaint by Slack about the integration of Teams into Office 365, as reported by Reuters. Talks to settle the antitrust dispute between the EU and Redmond have failed, according to the report.

Back in 2017, Microsoft had added Teams, a Slack competitor that offers similar business communication and collaboration features, to Office 365 for free. In 2020, the company, which is now part of Salesforce, had filed its complaint. It alleges that the software company is using its dominant position in the productivity software market to hinder competition in the enterprise communications space.

Microsoft’s remedies found to be inadequate

As a remedy, Microsoft proposed, among other things, to reduce the price of Office packages without Teams, according to the report. However, the EU had demanded a higher price reduction than Microsoft was willing to offer. When asked by Reuters, Microsoft said: “We continue to work cooperatively with the Commission in its investigation and are open to pragmatic solutions that address the Commission’s concerns and benefit customers.”

Negotiations with the EU Commission over the planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard were recently successfully concluded by Microsoft. The remedies offered in the context were rated by the Commission as sufficient to ensure fair competition – unlike the competition regulators in the UK and the US.

For Microsoft, it would not be the first EU antitrust case. Because of the bundling of products such as browsers and media players in Windows, the software company already had to pay fines of about 2.2 billion euros.