What you need to know
- Microsoft will reportedly stop bundling Office and Teams together.
- If the move is made, it will likely be done to avoid an official antitrust probe by EU regulators.
- Slack, a competitor to Microsoft Teams, filed a complaint about Microsoft's bundling practices to the EU back in 2020.
- The report claims that "talks are still ongoing" and that "a deal is not certain."
Microsoft will stop bundling Teams and Office, according to a report by Financial Times. The move would potentially avoid an official antitrust probe by EU regulators. Slack, which competes with Teams, filed a complaint against Microsoft bundling Teams and Office together in 2020.
Two sources told Financial Times that Microsoft will make the move to avoid a formal investigation. Microsoft will reportedly offer organizations the option to buy Office with or without Teams. The report notes, however, that the exact method of the debundling is not known at this time.
The report also emphasized that "talks are still ongoing and a deal is not certain."
“We are mindful of our responsibilities in the EU as a major technology company," said Microsoft. "We continue to engage cooperatively with the commission in its investigation and are open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well."
Microsoft and Slack have a rocky relationship. When Teams launched, Slack claimed that it was "genuinely excited to have some competition." The CEO of Slack then claimed that "Teams is not a competitor to Slack." Despite the CEO's claims, Slack filed a 10-Q form in October 2019 that said Slack's "primary competitor is currently Microsoft Corporation."
Slack then filed its complaint with the EU against Microsoft in 2020. Microsoft responded by stating that Slack "suffered" because it lacked video conference support. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella asked if Slack would even exist if it wasn't for Windows.
With tech companies the size of Microsoft and Slack fighting so publicly, it's not surprising to see regulators step in. We'll have to wait to see if Microsoft debundling Teams from Office would quell questions about anticompetitive practices or not.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
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 email@example.com.