Microsoft says Slack 'suffered' from 'absence of video-conferencing' in response to anticompetitive allegations

Microosft Teams iOS and Surface
Microosft Teams iOS and Surface (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft responded to Slack's allegations of anticompetitive practices.
  • Slack accused Microsoft of abusing its market dominance to eliminate competition for Microsoft Teams.
  • A Microsoft spokesperson said that Slack "suffered" due to its lack of video conferencing.

Microsoft responded to Slack's accusation of anticompetitive practices. Earlier today, Slack filed a complaint to the EU which claimed Microsoft abused its market dominance to eliminate competition for Microsoft Teams. Now, a Microsoft spokesperson responded to the accusations.

Here's the complete statement from the Microsoft spokesperson with emphasis added:

We created Teams to combine the ability to collaborate with the ability to connect via video, because that's what people want. With COVID-19, the market has embraced Teams in record numbers while Slack suffered from its absence of video-conferencing. We're committed to offering customers not only the best of new innovation, but a wide variety of choice in how they purchase and use the product.We look forward to providing additional information to the European Commission and answering any questions they may have.

The statement is more direct than many responses shared from Microsoft spokespersons. We'll continue to update our coverage of these accusations from Slack and Microsoft's response as more details come out.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • It is easy to accuse anyone of anything. Slack needs to prove it because they don't offer video and they said Teams was not a direct competitor like a month ago. So which is it? You didn't innovate fast enough so now you blame others. Shame...
  • Slack does offer video.
  • But does it offer video CONFERENCING?
  • Yes it literally does. We have calls with 25 staff on slack all the time, and it handles far more too.
  • The allegation of anti-competitive practices is bases on scenarios and marketing tactics of past few years not just past few months. Teams had the video feature from very early stage as compared to slack. Slack started offering the same only very recently.
  • Ah, so Slack had no video calling unlike Teams?
  • Teams has support for 250 staff in a meeting and up to 10,000 at a live event 😉. Looking at that document it looks like those numbers have increased as well to 300 in a meeting and 20,000 at a live event 😮.
  • It's a good point. Slack video calls are notoriously bad, hence why they partnered with Amazon. Surprisingly, the only thing we found Slack does better, besides a more intuitive app, are notifications in general, especially for on-prem Azure DevOps source control.
  • It's true. Slack is an excellent Instant Message client (much better than Teams) but Teams is a much better video calling app (much better than Slack). Currently I use both where I work, expect Slack will get the chop.
  • Yeah, I've used both, and found I've lost interest in Slack. It is a little bit better for chat, in some ways (slightly more intuitive and doesn't have Teams' weird "Reply" confusing UI for threaded conversations inside a Team), but even at Chat, Teams is easier for file sharing during a chat, getting info on the person you're chatting with (that Org Chart in Chat is awesome if you're on one of the MS 365 plans that includes that), mechanism for searching and storing history, etc. Teams is just amazing to me. I wish MS could make all their apps as well as they did Teams. And that's just for Chat outside a Team. Inside a Team, with the collaborative file editing, integration with Planner, tabs for documents or web pages (amazing for anyone do web site work), Private and Standard channels, and so much more, Teams just offers so much more than Slack. It's effectively cheaper too (even in the free mode, it provides much more than Slack's free licenses). I can't really see very many remaining use cases for Slack being better than Teams, so I understand why they feel threatened. It's like a bi-plane vs. a spaceship.
  • Slack sat on their hands and didn't innovate or improve their services. Slack has been around longer than teams and was the market leader. Ms turned teams into what customers wanted while slack grew stale. That isn't Microsofts problem it's slacks.
  • Teams was started once Slack rejected a buy from MSFT.
    Once Teams was announced in 2016 after the buy rejection, Slack should have doubled, tripled its effort in innovating, but guess what, they failed to see MSFT coming.
  • This is inevitable in the 'winner takes all' uber-competitive tech services industry. Everything seems to end up reducing to 1 or 2 players, sometimes 3 at most. The market just wants the cheapest for most features. Can't be bothered about competitive 'fairness' etc. This is a non-issue, Slack should instead look for a competitive advantage, else it will be game over for them.
  • Sooo someone brings out a rival product that dose more than your product then you don't do anything to counter that product and when this product overtakes yours you play the blame game and try and sue the other company 😂😂😂😂😂😂
  • Now, Slack, sorry but that's just pathetic. Have some dignity and work to get your users back.
  • It's rubbish saying that Microsoft is blocking removal of Teams when there is documentation proving it can be removed and providing admins a way to prevent installation
  • Yep you're going to have to pay up eventually. Let's see the growing costs. Teams personal on personal (family?) subscription plan on 365, seperate subscription plan on 365 business plan, (possibly) Windows 10 key cost, paying for the pc's and mobile devices, app purchases and their subscriptions, WiFi and data data plan, mobile data plan. Fragmented cumulative costs are only rising.
  • Slack should have sold to MSFT when came knocking.
  • BTW, wwe decided to purchase three office 356 subscriptions because we needed to video conference. Eventhough each person in the group had office 365 subscriptions, we decided the joint venture should use the new subscriptions within the Joint venture for ease of use and security reasons. Slack was never a consideration.
  • Just see slack's financial balance sheets and you will know why they are scared so much.
  • Yet a few months ago, Slack was all cocky with full page ads laughing at MS and "welcoming the competition". Who is laughing now?
  • Never really followed Slack vs Teams competition but while reading other tech blogs, I was under impression that Slack has far greater adoption than Teams... Strange how reality can be different than tech blogger preferences.