Microsoft may face EU antitrust investigation over bundling Teams with Office

Priya Walia

According to a report from Reuters, there is a possibility that the European Union may commence an antitrust inquiry into Microsoft’s messaging and video platform, Teams. This would be in response to a complaint lodged by Slack in July 2020.

Slack, the enterprise messaging application, had initially filed a competition complaint against Microsoft, asserting that the company was engaging in unlawful and anti-competitive behavior by exploiting its dominant position in the market to stifle competition, thus contravening European Union competition law.

The complaint further claimed that Microsoft has engaged in an unlawful practice by integrating its Teams product into its widely prevalent Office productivity suite, automatically installing it for many users, impeding its removal, and obscuring the actual expenses for enterprise clients.

However, a Microsoft Executive indicated that the situation is not entirely hopeless, implying that the two parties could potentially find common ground.

We continue to engage cooperatively with the Commission in its investigation and are open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well, the Executive said, as per Reuters.

Microsoft appeared to have been aiming to address the concerns raised by the EU before the initiation of a formal investigation. According to a December 2022 report by Reuters, the tech giant had made an initial proposal to address the European Commission’s concerns, to settle.

Now, recent reports from Reuters indicate that Microsoft’s attempts to resolve the situation have faced a setback. Specifically, the price reduction offered by Microsoft for Office without the inclusion of the Teams app did not meet the expectations of the EU.

As a result, it is now likely that an investigation will be launched. And if Microsoft is found to have violated the antitrust regulations of the EU, it may face fines amounting to up to 10% of its global turnover.

Via Reuters