ANTITRUST

Slack Alleges Microsoft Is Violating EU Competition Law

Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. is the latest U.S. corporation to face an investigation over antitrust charges by the European Union (EU). The Wall Street Journal reports the global technology company is facing allegations from Slack Technologies Inc.

On Wednesday (July 22), the Canadian workplace software company filed a complaint with the European Commission, the EU’s competition regulator, accusing Microsoft of violating competition law by tying its Microsoft Teams software to its widely used Microsoft Office productivity software suite.

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based platform that offers document sharing, online meetings and other features for business communications.

In the complaint, Slack alleges Microsoft requires Microsoft Office users to install the Teams software, blocks its removal and makes working with competitors impossible, WSJ reported.

Slack is asking the EU to rule Microsoft must sell its Teams software as a stand-alone product, rather than bundling it with Microsoft Office.

This is the most recent case of large U.S. technology companies accused of abusing their alleged dominance.

Last month, the EU launched antitrust investigations into potential violations by Apple of competition laws in its Apple Pay service and App Store.

At issue in that case is Apple’s mandatory use of its proprietary in-app purchase system which limits the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users of cheaper alternatives.

Also last month, it was reported Amazon could face antitrust charges by the EU over its treatment of third-party sellers.

The European Commission has been building its case against the eCommerce giant and circulating a draft of the charges for several months.

The complaint comes as Slack saw its revenues surge in the first quarter as working from home became the new reality amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total revenue was $201.7 million, up 50 percent compared to the same quarter one year ago.

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