Microsoft Teams will reportedly sit at center of EU antitrust probe based on Slack complaint

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • The European Union will reportedly open an antitrust probe into Microsoft surrounding the tech giant's communication platform Microsoft Teams.
  • The investigation is based on a complaint made by Microsoft competitor Slack in 2020.
  • The core argument Slack made was that Microsoft has used its dominant Office suite of applications to get an unfair advantage for Teams.

Microsoft will face an antitrust probe by the European Union, according to a report by POLITICO. The investigation will focus on a complaint made by Slack in 2020 that alleges Microsoft used its dominant Office suite of applications to gain an advantage for Microsoft Teams. POLITICO cited four people familiar with the situation in its report.

Slack and Microsoft have had a rocky relationship over the past few years. The rivalry ramped up during the global pandemic that saw Teams gain a substantial market share in the communication space. In April 2020, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said that Teams was not a competitor to Slack (via CNBC). Oddly, an SEC filing made by Slack during the same period claimed the exact opposite (via The Verge). 

Would Slack have even existed if it was not for the free access they had on top of, say, the Windows platform?

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella clapped back against Slack and asked, "would Slack have even existed if it was not for the free access they had on top of, say, the Windows platform?"

Now, around two years after Slack's complaint, the European Union will reportedly open an antitrust probe into the situation. POLITICO reports that the European Commission will "escalate the probe quickly" and prepare a statement of objections.

Microsoft's rivals and customers have been sent requests for more information, according to the report.

The "assessment of the complaint is ongoing," said a European Commission spokesperson to POLITICO. Microsoft has not responded with a comment at the time of publication.

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 sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).