Software

Microsoft fails to win over EU antitrust regulators with Teams unbundling proposal

Microsoft reportedly won’t be able to get out of a European Commission probe into its practice of bundling Teams with other office software.
article cover

Jean-Luc Ichard/Getty Images

· less than 3 min read

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.

Microsoft’s efforts to placate European Union antitrust regulators over the bundling of its Teams video conferencing app have failed, Bloomberg reported.

The European Commission (EC) is preparing a formal list of complaints pegged to Microsoft’s practice of bundling Teams with its other business productivity software, Bloomberg’s sources reported—and a Microsoft proposal to fend off the inquiry by unbundling Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365 in Europe and selling it to enterprise customers separately with an annual discount of $26.20 apparently isn’t good enough to satisfy the EC.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Microsoft, Sarah Naciri, directed IT Brew to the blog post where Microsoft VP of European government affairs Nanna-Louise Linde originally raised the unbundling proposal.

Linde had also written that Microsoft would work to increase interoperability with Microsoft 365 and Office 365, as well as “create new mechanisms to enable third-party solutions to host Office web applications.”

“We believe these changes balance the interests of our competitors with those of European business customers, providing them with access to the best possible solutions at competitive prices,” Linde wrote.

Slack, the messaging provider, was behind the original complaint to the EC.

Microsoft faces other competition complaints in the EU. One filed by industry groups claimed the software giant uses unfair licensing practices to force customers to use its Azure cloud platform. Another, Bloomberg noted, was filed by German cloud provider Nextcloud GmbH and accuses Microsoft of similarly unfair bundling practices with OneDrive, its cloud storage offering.

Regulatory scrutiny of major cloud providers—particularly targeting Amazon, Google, and Microsoft—isn’t limited to the EU. The Federal Trade Commission, as well as its counterpart in the UK, have launched inquiries into competition issues in the industry.

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.