Tech giant Microsoft has agreed to unbundle Teams from its Office Productivity Suite following an anti-trust investigation in the European Union (EU), according to a report by the Financial Times (FT).
This is Microsoft continues to face its biggest regulatory battle in over ten years in the EU.
In 2020, Teams competitor Slack asked the European Union regulators to officially make Microsoft sell Teams separately from the Office Suite. It called Teams a ‘weak, copycat product’ and said Microsoft was forcing it on its users. In the complaint, Slack also accused it of blocking some customers from removing Teams and hiding the real cost to enterprise customers.
Though the tech giant offers Office with or without Teams, a source recently told FT that “the mechanism on how to do this remains unclear”.
Microsoft has previously been embroiled in a similar matter. In 2009, Microsoft agreed to offer users in the EU the ability to use alternative browsers, but the tech giant did not apply this consistently as agreed in a settlement with the EU. In 2013, it was fined €561 million.
In the latest saga, Microsoft says it is mindful of its role and seeks to find a solution.
“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 said to FT.
Microsoft says a settlement hasn’t been reached yet, based on the report the tech giant could be leaning toward doing the right thing (again).