Microsoft broke antitrust guidelines by bundling Teams with Office, EU says | EUROtoday

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The European Union mentioned Tuesday that Microsoft abused its market energy when it folded the Teams communications platform into its Office 365 suite.

It’s second main E.U. motion in two days towards a Big Tech agency. European regulators on Monday levied antitrust accusations towards Apple.

Microsoft could also be giving Teams an undue benefit by tying it to its different enterprise merchandise, mentioned Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s govt vp for competitors coverage.

“Preserving competition for remote communication and collaboration tools is essential as it also fosters innovation on these markets,” Vestager mentioned.

The E.U. ultimately might levy fines of as much as 10 p.c of the corporate’s “annual worldwide turnover.”

The accusations towards Microsoft come from an investigation that was opened in July 2023 following a criticism by Slack Technologies, which has its personal office communications app.

After the fee opened its investigation Microsoft made sure modifications to the way in which it distributed Teams, resembling providing some suites with out it. But the E.U. concluded that these modifications have been inadequate.

“Having unbundled Teams and taken initial interoperability steps, we appreciate the additional clarity provided today and will work to find solutions to address the Commission‘s remaining concerns,” Microsoft President Brad Smith mentioned in an announcement Tuesday.

European regulators mentioned Microsoft put rivals at a drawback as a result of the corporate didn’t give prospects the selection of whether or not to obtain Teams. The firm may have benefited from a scarcity of interoperability with competing communications platforms, regulators mentioned.