Removing Teams from Office might not be enough to satisfy Microsoft's rivals as EU steps up possible regulation

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(Image credit: Windows Central)

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.

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year
Microsoft 365 Personal comes with the Office suite and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It allows you to work from several devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also includes a long list of other apps and services, such as Editor, Microsoft Forms, and Microsoft Teams.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. 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. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.