The unbundling of the Teams communications solution announced by Microsoft apparently does not meet the demands of the EU competition authorities. The EU therefore now intends to lodge a formal complaint against the Redmond company and take action against Microsoft.
Microsoft wanted to make EU investigations obsolete
Microsoft recently announced a new strategy for selling Teams to business customers, in which it wants to separate the communication platform from the enterprise versions of Microsoft 365 in order to sell it separately. However, this approach, in which corporate customers are supposed to purchase teams separately in an annual subscription at a discount, probably does not satisfy the EU competition authorities.
As the US economic service Bloomberg reports, citing sources close to the EU Commission, competition regulators continue to have concerns that Microsoft’s business practices could still hinder competition within the European community of states.
The EU therefore wants to continue working on a formal complaint against Microsoft, so that the software company continues to face a possible fine or other measures for violating competition law. The EU Commission is currently reportedly preparing a list of objections that it wants to present to Microsoft within the next few months.
Microsoft had announced that Teams would no longer be distributed as standard for corporate customers as part of Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Instead, the prices for the monthly subscriptions for the two packages mentioned are being reduced slightly and teams want to be bookable separately instead.
What exactly bothers the EU competition watchdogs about this approach has not yet been made public. Microsoft’s latest problem with the EU stems from complaints from its competitor Slack, which sees the bundling of teams with Microsoft’s Office packages as hindering competition.
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