Microsoft has announced a significant change in response to an ongoing European Union antitrust investigation. Starting from October 1, Microsoft will offer its video and chat application, Teams, as a standalone product for business customers in Europe. This change will affect users in the European Union and four other European nations who rely on Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites.
Moreover, Microsoft plans to facilitate the integration of products from other companies like Zoom and Slack (owned by Salesforce) with Microsoft 365, which has been rebranded from Office 365.
Nanna-Louise Linde, Microsoft’s Vice President for European Government Affairs, expressed that these changes aim to strike a balance between competition and serving European business customers by providing competitive pricing and access to top-tier solutions. Microsoft is committed to engaging with the ongoing investigation and exploring solutions that benefit both customers and developers in Europe.
As part of this shift, Microsoft will reduce the monthly cost for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 for large business customers by €2 ($2.2) by excluding the popular Teams app. New enterprise customers will have the option to purchase Teams separately for €5 ($5.4) per month. Existing enterprise customers who already have a suite with Teams can choose whether to retain their current suite or transition to one without Teams.
While this announcement focuses on changes for business customers in response to antitrust concerns, there is no mention of any alterations for personal customers.
The European Union initiated its investigation into potential anticompetitive practices by Microsoft following a complaint filed by Slack in 2020. Slack alleged that Microsoft unlawfully bundled Teams with its dominant workplace software, leading to concerns about fair competition in the market. Microsoft’s recent decisions appear to address some of these concerns and demonstrate their willingness to adapt to regulatory scrutiny.
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