Microsoft faces EU antitrust probe for tying Teams to Office suite

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority


  • The European Commission accused Microsoft of violating antitrust laws by tying Teams to its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites.
  • The investigation was sparked by a complaint from Slack Technologies, Inc. last year.
  • Microsoft could face substantial fines and be forced to implement changes if found in violation of EU antitrust rules.

Microsoft finds itself in hot water with the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, over allegations of antitrust violations. The tech giant is accused of leveraging its dominance in the productivity software market by tying its communication platform, Microsoft Teams, to its popular Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites.

This move by the Commission comes amid growing scrutiny of Big Tech’s influence in Europe and follows recent legal tussles with Apple over App Store policies. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager highlighted the importance of fair competition, stating, “Preserving competition for remote communication and collaboration tools is essential as it also fosters innovation on these markets.”

The Commission’s concern centers on Microsoft’s suite-centric business model, which bundles multiple products together.

By including Teams in its widely used Office suites, the Commission believes Microsoft may have given its own communication tool an unfair advantage over competitors, hindering their ability to innovate and compete effectively.

If the Commission concludes that Microsoft has indeed violated EU antitrust rules, the tech giant could face substantial fines of up to 10% of its annual global turnover. Furthermore, Microsoft may be required to implement remedies to restore competition in the market.

Since Teams’ launch, Microsoft has included it in its widely used productivity suites for business customers, Office 365 and Microsoft 365.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by Slack Technologies last year and delves into whether Microsoft denied customers the option to purchase its productivity suites without Teams and whether interoperability limitations with rival products further exacerbated the issue. While Microsoft did unbundle Teams in Europe last year, the Commission deems these changes inadequate.

This development is another significant moment in the ongoing discussion about the power and influence of Big Tech companies. Microsoft now has the opportunity to respond to the Commission’s concerns, and the outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for the future of competition in the digital marketplace.

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