According to a report by Financial Times, it seems that there are plans underway by Microsoft to stop bundling Teams with Office. With this in place, Microsoft will be better able to bypass an official antitrust probe by EU regulators.
Once the reported plan is in motion, organizations will now be able to purchase Office with the option of having Teams as part of the package or not. At this time, it’s not yet clear how Microsoft intends to achieve this exactly. Financial Times’ source has indicated that the deal has not yet been confirmed and that talks are still underway.
Microsoft has further indicated that:
We are mindful of our responsibilities in the EU as a major technology company. We continue to engage cooperatively with the commission in its investigation and are open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well.
Microsoft’s relationship with Slack has been shaky at best. Back in 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Slack proceeded to sue Microsoft in the EU with claims that Teams is anti-competitive. Slack indicated that Microsoft was back to its monopolistic ways because of bundling Microsoft Teams with Microsoft 365 subscriptions.
Shortly after, Microsoft fired back at the lawsuit by Slack highlighting that the issue isn’t really about Microsoft bundling up Teams with Office, but Slack’s lack of support for video conferencing features.
Microsoft is yet to officially communicate further on the matter, we’ll just have to wait and see how things transpire in the next couple of weeks. Share your thoughts with us in the comments.