What you need to know
- A new report highlights that the EU commission recently issued questionnaires to Microsoft's rivals asking whether the company's move to unbundle Microsoft Teams from Microsoft Office addressed their concerns.
- In 2020, Slack filed a complaint against Microsoft to the EU regulators over anti-competitive practices, mainly for bundling Teams and Office.
- Microsoft tried to beat these allegations by unbundling both services in the Economic Area and Switzerland, effective October 1, 2023.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, when most organizations were picking hybrid work, Salesforce-owned Slack filed a complaint accusing Microsoft of engaging in anti-competitive practices by bundling Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office. In August this year, Microsoft made a significant announcement citing that it was gearing up to unbundle both services in the Economic Area and Switzerland, effective October 1, 2023.
And now, according to a spot by Reuters, EU regulators recently asked Microsoft's rivals whether the company's move to unbundle Teams from Office was enough to address their concerns.
Slack believes that Microsoft is consciously burying Microsoft Teams' cost behind the bundle. But the company has since disclosed the service's standalone price, which stands at €5 per month or €60 per year.
It is reported that the EU regulators used a questionnaire to gather this information, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. First, the commission wanted to understand and determine how easy it'd be for users to switch to other competitors if network effects curb existing or new competitors from penetrating the market. Next up, the EU also wanted to determine the likelihood for users to transition from cloud products to on-premise solutions.
The source further disclosed that this might imply that the EU regulators will collect information from Microsoft's rivals to build a statement of objections, which will be sent to Microsoft next year.
Finally, the commission also wanted Microsoft's rivals to furnish them with detailed and comprehensive feedback from potential customers, citing how their business would run while leveraging Microsoft services bundled with the pricing of products with and without Microsoft Teams.
Do you think Microsoft's move to unbundle Teams from Office will be enough to address its rival's concerns? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.