Microsoft admits it might have to make cutbacks on Teams and Office following EU lawsuits

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

Microsoft has indicated it may need to take “additional steps” to address the European Commission’s antitrust investigation into its bundling of Teams with Office.

The ongoing battle stems from a complaint made by Slack in 2020 which accused Microsoft of abusing its market dominance by illegally tying Teams to its productivity suite to stifle competition.

To address the concerns, Microsoft recently unbundled its video conferencing app from Office, but it looks like the company may now need to do even more.

Microsoft antitrust challenges

Facing regulatory scrutiny and potential fines, Microsoft committed to unbundling Teams from Office in the EU. In April, the company extended its unbundling efforts globally, potentially in anticipation of further complaints in other countries.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels (via The Register), Microsoft President Brad Smith stated: “I expect we will take additional steps.”

Smith continued: “On Teams, we have done a lot of work, our work isn't yet done. Microsoft is committed to find a resolution to regulators' concerns.”

Microsoft has confirmed Smith’s remarks but did not elaborate on what these additional steps might entail. A spokesperson for the European Commission also confirmed that the investigation into whether Microsoft breached EU competition rules is ongoing.

Currently, customers can choose to continue with the bundled Office and Teams, remove Teams fro their licenses for a discount, or purchase Teams as a standalone product.

Despite potential further changes to its licensing and product strategies, Teams has already gained itself a leading position in the market. The impact of any changes on Teams’s 320 million monthly active users might not be as drastic as rivals, like Slack, had hoped.

More broadly, Redmond isn’t just under the microscope for Teams. Rivals companies AWS (which accounts for around one-third of the cloud market, putting it in first position) and Google have also lodged complaints about similar unfair strategies conducted by Microsoft’s cloud business.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!