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Microsoft reportedly facing EU antitrust probe over Teams video calling service – Times of India

The European Union is reportedly planning to open an antitrust investigation into Microsoft for allegedly misusing its position in pushing new products and services with its Office suite. A report said that the investigation will be based on a 2020 complaint from Slack, filed amid the pandemic in July 2020 when video calling apps – such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom – were seeing an upward spiral in terms of usage.
What is the case?
Slack filed a competition complaint in Europe saying that Microsoft bundled Teams for free to Office 365 customers when it launched in 2016. This bundling, along with the integration with Office, purportedly became a hurdle in Slack’s business because it made it hard for the company to sell its product and services to customers, who were already a subscriber of Microsoft Office suite, to pay extra to get Slack.
“What we’re asking for is that Teams be separated from the Office suite and be sold separately with a fair commercial price tag associated with it so it competes on the merit with our product. It really is as simple and straightforward as that,” Slack’s legal chief told reporters at that time.
Slack says Microsoft move unfair
Citing people familiar with the matter, Politico reported that the antitrust enforcers “plan to escalate the probe quickly and are preparing a statement of objections laying out competition problems with the company’s behaviour.”
The regulators will probe Sack’s allegations which say that the Windows-maker allegedly misused its position as a powerful software supplier to unfairly tie Microsoft Teams and other software with its Office suite. The people familiar with the matter also said that the regulators have “sent requests to rivals and customers over what evidence it plans to use.”
The report also cites a Commission spokesperson as saying that the “assessment of the complaint is ongoing.”
Other complaints against Microsoft
There have been several antitrust complaints against Microsoft from cloud providers over licensing terms and alleged tying practices for its Azure service. Furthermore, Microsoft’s gaming division is also under scrutiny over its $68.7 billion deal with Activision Blizzard.

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