What you need to know
- Slack filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators over Microsoft bundling Teams with Office.
- Said regulators are now surveying Microsoft rivals to find out if this bundling activity gives Microsoft unfair market advantages.
Another day, another controversy. This time, it's a result of Slack filing a complaint against Microsoft's Teams and Office activities. Specifically, Slack Technologies made the claim that Microsoft integrating Teams with Office constituted an illegal move that disadvantaged products attempting to rival Teams (via Reuters).
Slack is one of Teams' rivals, as are Zoom and Facebook. In response to Slack's complaint, EU antitrust regulators are contacting said rivals to ask them specifics such as how many of their customers had left for Teams or Office, how much money those migrations cost them, and the overall impact of these elements in concert.
It's no secret that Microsoft is keen on integrating Teams into more and more PC users' lives. It routinely boasts about the quarter of a billion people that use its communications platform, and has even made it part of the core Windows 11 experience via the Chat app. But rivals of Microsoft argue that the tech giant is, in essence, making Teams too deeply nestled within the PC lifestyle for their products to have a fair shot.
Slack, in its complaint, highlighted that Teams comes preinstalled, is hard to uninstall, and that Microsoft hadn't provided key information so that rivals could work with Office and Teams instead of being cut out of the loop.
It's unclear what the end result of the antitrust regulators' efforts is beyond determining if Microsoft is creating an unfair situation for the competition. Verdicts, consequences, and responses from the involved parties remain to be seen.