Microsoft Corp. tried to ward off further European Union antitrust scrutiny of its Teams video-conferencing app by offering to split the program from a broader business software package.
(Bloomberg) — Microsoft Corp. tried to ward off further European Union antitrust scrutiny of its Teams video-conferencing app by offering to split the program from a broader business software package.
Nanna-Louise Linde, Microsoft’s vice-president for European government affairs, said in a blog post on Thursday that from Oct. 1, Microsoft will unbundle Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365 across Europe.
The Redmond, Washington-based firm is trying avoid formal antitrust charges from the EU and the risk of future fines, following the bloc’s decision to open a probe in July.
EU investigators are examining whether Microsoft breached competition rules by tying or bundling Teams to its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 packages. This follows a complaint from Salesforce Inc.’s messaging platform Slack made three years ago.
Linde also said Microsoft will also improve how the two versions of 365 operate together and develop a method for offering Microsoft Office web applications in rival apps.
Instead of bundling Teams with its business software packages, Microsoft has proposed to sell it to enterprise customers separately with an annual discount of €24 ($26.20).
The Brussels-based commission said it had taken note of Microsoft’s announcement and had no further comment.
Slack didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Microsoft faces at least two more complaints with EU regulators. They include one by a European cloud group with Amazon.com Inc.’s AWS among its members that accuses Microsoft of using unfair licensing practices to lure EU customers to its cloud infrastructure.
Another, filed by German cloud platform NextCloud GmbH in 2021, complains about Microsoft bundling its OneDrive cloud system with Windows.
(Updates with background on EU case in last two paragraphs. An earlier version of the story corrected the value of the proposed discount for enterprise customers)
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