Microsoft Facing EU Antitrust Case Over Teams/Office Bundle


Microsoft’s Teams product has reportedly made it the target of an antitrust probe in Europe.

The tech giant will be formally investigated by the European Commission (EC) over claims that it is unfairly packaging the video conferencing app with its Office software, the Financial Times reported Monday (July 17), citing sources familiar with the watchdog’s thinking. 

Two of the sources said the EC could formally charge Microsoft as soon as the fall. A spokesperson for the company told PYMNTS Microsoft continues “to engage cooperatively with the commission in its investigation and are open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well.” 

The EC declined to comment when reached by PYMNTS. The FT notes that Microsoft had offered in negotiations with the EU to stop forcing Office customers to have Teams automatically installed on their devices.

And as reported here in May, the company had also apparently told EU officials it would be willing to charge for Teams in an effort to avoid an investigation.

Under its offer to the EU, Microsoft would give buyers the choice of two prices for its Office productivity suite, one with Teams and one without.

However, sources told the FT that talks had broken down over the question of whether Microsoft’s proposed concessions would only apply to the EU, with officials wanting for these changes to be implemented around the world.

And while talks were reportedly continuing this week, sources said it was “very unlikely” Microsoft would be able to escape a formal investigation.

The reported investigation is happening amid a number of antitrust actions against tech giants on both sides of the Atlantic.

For example, last month saw reports that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans to file a wide-ranging antitrust suit dealing with Amazon’s key online marketplace.

A report by Bloomberg News — citing documents and and sources familiar with the case — said the suit will argue that Amazon uses its power to punish merchants that don’t use its logistics services, while rewarding the merchants who do.