The European Union (EU) has officially launched an antitrust investigation into Microsoft’s Teams messaging and videoconferencing app. The investigation focuses on concerns that the bundling of Teams with Microsoft’s Office productivity software gives the company an unfair advantage over its competitors.
Slack Technologies, the maker of popular workplace messaging software, filed a complaint in 2020 alleging that Microsoft was leveraging its market dominance to eliminate competition. By combining Teams with its Office suite, Microsoft is accused of violating EU laws.
The European Commission, responsible for enforcing competition regulations within the EU, has announced that it will prioritize an in-depth investigation into the matter. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, emphasized the importance of ensuring competitive markets for remote communication and collaboration tools like Teams.
Despite heightened scrutiny of Big Tech companies by the EU, Microsoft has previously been successful in similar investigations. Recently, the EU approved Microsoft’s acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard and granted clearance for its purchases of Zenimax and Nuance.
While opening an investigation does not indicate the outcome, it demonstrates the EU’s commitment to maintaining fair competition in the digital market. The scrutiny of Microsoft’s practices surrounding the bundling of Teams with its Office suite seeks to protect competition and ensure a level playing field for all players in the industry.
In addition to Slack’s complaint, alfaview, a German video conferencing company, has also raised concerns about Microsoft’s bundling strategy. They argue that it gives Microsoft an unjustified competitive advantage that cannot be matched by competitors.
As the investigation unfolds, it will shed light on whether Microsoft’s actions breach EU competition rules. The EU continues to address concerns surrounding the dominance of Big Tech companies, striving for a fair and competitive market environment.