EC sees Microsoft Teams integration in Office suite as insufficient for fair market

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Key notes

  • EU regulators (EC) mull antitrust charges against Microsoft.
  • Concern centers on bundling Teams within Microsoft’s dominant Office suite.
  • Competitors claim Teams integration gives it an unfair edge in the market.
New Microsoft Teams

The European Commission is reportedly considering antitrust charges against Microsoft Corporation. The focus of the investigation centers on the integration of Microsoft Teams within the company’s Office suite.

The EC reportedly has concerns that bundling Teams with Office may give the video conferencing platform an undue advantage in the market. This concern is said to be fueled by complaints from competitors alleging that Teams is designed for smoother functionality with other Microsoft products, potentially hindering rival offerings. 

Additionally, some have raised concerns regarding Microsoft’s pricing strategies, suggesting they may discourage customers from exploring alternative video conferencing services. This comes after last year’s news where Microsoft hoped to dodge the antitrust probe via Teams-Office unbundling. 

In response to all this, Microsoft previously announced plans to offer Teams as a standalone product, separate from the Office suite. However, the EC views this measure as insufficient to ensure a fair and competitive market environment.

This development tells a lot about the ongoing regulatory scrutiny faced by large technology companies operating globally. The potential charges against Microsoft echo similar investigations into the competitive practices of big technology firms in other regions, including the United States and Asia.

Microsoft has the opportunity to offer further concessions to address the EC’s concerns before formal charges are potentially filed in the coming weeks. This latest development follows nearly a year of investigation initiated by a complaint filed by Slack in 2020.

More here.

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