Newspaper: EU Investigates Bundling Teams and Office by Microsoft


Microsoft will face the first formal European Union (EU) competition investigation in fifteen years next week. This is reported by the British business newspaper Financial Times based on sources.


The investigation by the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, follows allegations that the American technology group incorrectly links its video conferencing app Teams to its popular word processing program Office.

Microsoft agreed in April to stop forcing customers of its Office software to automatically install its Teams app for video conferencing and messaging on their devices. According to insiders, however, this concession has proved insufficient to remove European competition concerns.

The commission’s decision to launch an investigation demonstrates Brussels’ determination to crack down on practices by big tech companies that could reduce competition. For example, major American tech groups such as Apple, Google, and Meta Platforms face investigations for alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

In April, the Financial Times reported that Microsoft would stop automatically forcing its customers to install Teams on their devices. That move followed a complaint from competitor Slack in 2020 that Microsoft’s “bundling” of the two services violated EU competition laws.

According to the insiders, Microsoft is still in talks with the committee to prevent a formal investigation, but it is “doubtful” that that will happen. Microsoft responded, “to continue to work with the committee and to be open to pragmatic solutions that remove concerns and serve customers well”. The committee only indicated that the “assessment of the complaint based on our standard procedures is ongoing”.

The EU investigation into Microsoft is said to be the first since 2008. At the time, Microsoft was accused of abusing its dominant position by forcing users to download the Internet Explorer browser that came with Windows. Microsoft then settled with the commission, allowing users to choose a different browser. But in 2013, the EU still fined Microsoft 561 million euros for not honouring its commitment.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.