Report: Microsoft offered EU watchdog initial concessions addressing Teams antitrust concerns

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Aside from its continuous battle to gain approval for its proposed $69 billion Activision merger, Microsoft has another reason to cooperate with regulators: Teams. In a new report by Reuters, the Redmond company is said to be hoping to work with the European Union to resolve its antitrust concerns over the complaint started by Slack. The Teams issue began in 2021 when the instant messaging program rival accused Microsoft of integrating Teams into Office programs. 

The situation highlighted in the complaint, voiced as unfair, can have a huge impact on Slack. Though Slack was launched in 2009, Teams’ arrival in 2017 marked a huge threat to other competitors within the workplace collaboration market. The software giants’ creation started with a huge focus on video calls, while Slack only started developing its platform for that area recently. Specifically, it only introduced video calling on its Huddles feature in June 2022. While it is a good thing for Slack, Teams has a bigger advantage as it is owned by a tech giant with control over the most popular desktop software in the market. Slack stresses that by allegedly bundling Teams with Office, Microsoft is directly engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

A year ago, the EU sent a questionnaire to Slack, Zoom, Google Workspace, Facebook, and Cisco in hopes of finding their opinion about the effect of the said action of Microsoft. This inquiry hinted at the regulator’s interest in considering an investigation, so Microsoft is approaching the issue with its new strategy: cooperation instead of opposing it. According to the sources of Reuters, the company has already offered its initial remedies for the concerns. The individuals with knowledge of the situation did not divulge the specifics of the concessions, while the Commission said that the “assessment of the complaint is ongoing,” so it still couldn’t provide answers to the media. 

More about the topics: Microsoft issues, Microsoft Teams, Slack