EU To Start Antitrust Probe Into Office Suite

It’s a never-ending tug-of-war over linking Teams to the Office suite. The EU had been warning for years, and Microsoft had made changes and negotiated – without success. Now comes what many had been waiting for an antitrust investigation.

Microsoft and EU are struggling to link teams and Office

The roots of the conflict go back to a complaint filed by Slack with the EU in June 2020. The accusation: exploitation of an unfair advantage because of the integration of teams into his office suite. After a survey of market participants, the European Commission’s antitrust authority began negotiations with Microsoft last year to prevent an official investigation. As Reuters now reports, talks between the EU and the group have “stalled.”

The result: Microsoft must expect that an official EU antitrust investigation will be initiated in the coming months. In a request, the company positions itself as willing to negotiate but does not address the concerns of the competition authorities any further. “We continue to work cooperatively with the Commission in their investigation and remain open to pragmatic solutions that address their concerns and serve customers,” a spokesman said, according to Reuters.

A close look at Microsoft’s efforts over the past few months reveals that the company gradually attempted adjustments that were clearly designed to send signals to EU antitrust authorities. The group agreed to completely decouple teams and offices at the request of the EU. Furthermore, the deep integration into Windows 11 is history.

But the group and the EU do not seem to be able to reach an agreement on one point: the price of Office without an integrated team. As Reuters quotes its sources, the European Commission expected a significantly larger price reduction than Microsoft was willing to offer. With the initiation of an official procedure, the next chapter of this story begins.

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