Where are EU going with that Teams antitrust probe? Microsoft wants a word

Trending 9 months ago

Updated Microsoft, already nether nan European Union's microscope for its $69 cardinal bid for crippled shaper Activision Blizzard, reportedly wants to talk to regulators location to effort to spot disconnected ineligible action against Teams based connected an antitrust title levied 2 years agone by rival Slack.

Slack, nan workspace messaging app now owned by Salesforce, filed a title pinch nan European Union successful 2020 accusing Microsoft of illegally bundling nan Teams chat and video collaboration level pinch nan Office suite.

Given really ubiquitous Office is successful nan endeavor space, bundling Teams would springiness Microsoft an unfair advantage successful nan booming collaboration space, according to Slack, echoing akin complaints lodged against nan elephantine package shaper complete nan past 3 decades.

Citing unnamed sources adjacent to nan issue, Reuters reported that Microsoft officials dream to resoluteness nan EU's antitrust concerns earlier a general investigation is launched and that nan institution has offered a database of first concessions.

The Register has asked Microsoft for remark and will update this communicative if nan institution responds.

The world collaboration abstraction is expanding quickly arsenic companies reside nan needs of a highly distributed workforce that has travel retired of nan COVID-19 pandemic. Companies for illustration Microsoft – which introduced Teams successful 2017 – Zoom, and Cisco saw nan number of users and gross skyrocket successful 2020 and 2021 arsenic enterprises sent workers location successful hopes of slowing nan virus' spread.

IDC said gross successful nan 2nd 4th for nan worldwide unified communications and collaboration (UCC) marketplace jumped year-over-year by 14 percent, to $14.8 billion. Microsoft's Q2 UCC gross deed $5.7 billion, up 22.7 percent.

Reuters noted that while nan pandemic boosted nan collaboration businesses of Microsoft and others, Slack was wounded by its deficiency of a video-conferencing feature.

EU regulators reportedly person taken steps toward what would beryllium a full-blown antitrust investigation. In October 2021, they sent questionnaires to Microsoft rivals asking whether nan company's bundling of its products made it much difficult to compete successful position of exertion and costs.

Two months ago, they sent retired different group of questionnaires astir interoperability and bundling.

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Microsoft hopes to ward disconnected a general investigation done cooperation. The institution is nary alien to nan European Commission. The institution reportedly has paid $2.3 cardinal successful fines complete nan past decade for cases involving nan tying together of products and different business practices.

The EC successful November launched an antitrust investigation into Microsoft's bid for Activision Blizzard – which makes specified celebrated games arsenic Call of Duty and World of Warcraft for nan vendor's Xbox console – and contempt promises to make specified games disposable connected rival platforms for illustration Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Switch, nan US Federal Trade Commission past week sued to block nan acquisition.

Microsoft besides faces antitrust complaints related to its cloud computing business and for bundling its OneDrive unreality retention work pinch Windows.

The statement complete allegedly tying Teams pinch Office comes arsenic Microsoft prepares a scope of caller capabilities for Teams, including enabling Outlook users to rotation up a Teams chat successful nan email client. Scheduled for wide readiness successful March 2023, nan characteristic will alteration Outlook users to nonstop a connection aliases reappraisal a chat without having to unfastened up Teams, according to an introduction successful nan Microsoft 365 Roadmap.

Starting successful February 2023, Outlook users will spot Teams messages and files shared successful Teams conversations successful their hunt results. ®

Updated to add

Microsoft has told The Register it has nary remark connected nan issue.