Microsoft to stop bundling Teams with Office 365

US tech giant Microsoft to stop incorporating Teams with Office 365 in bid to head off EU antitrust probe

Microsoft will stop bundling its Team video conferencing and messaging app with Office software in a bid to head off a European Union antitrust probe.

The US tech giant hopes the concession will be enough to satisfy EU regulators, following a 2020 complaint to EU regulators by rival Slack.

Two insiders told the Financial Times that in future, when companies subscribe to Office, they can do so with or without Teams bundled.

Microsoft has come off badly tangling EU regulators in the past. They find the US tech giant €561m in 2013 for reneging on a promise to stop bundling its Internet Explorer browser with its Windows operating system.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft’s offer is enough to head off the EU antitrust probe, but even if the Commission does act, many see it as too late: by integrating Teams into Office 365 to date, Microsoft has already established market dominance.

Microsoft Teams, which as of last year had 270 million users, is by far the most popular business communication platform, vastly outperforming Slack’s 18 million active users.

The Microsoft videoconferencing app saw a huge uptick in users during the pandemic, rising from 20 million users in November 2019 to 75 million by April 2020, when Slack complained to EU regulators.

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...