Europe planning to slap more antitrust charges on Microsoft Teams

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Europe is planning to lay more antitrust charges on Microsoft Teams. The European Union seems concerned Microsoft could be using its industry dominance to undermine competition.

Why is the EU slapping more antitrust charges on Microsoft Teams?

Although it’s not official yet, the European Commission would soon slap on additional charges in an already long charge sheet against Microsoft. The Commission is concerned about Microsoft Teams.

Europe is reportedly concerned Microsoft is unfairly positioning the popular office productivity and remote collaboration platform. The EU is expected to submit a charge sheet, which could mention Microsoft is restricting competition in the sector.

Microsoft Teams rivals, including Slack and others, are concerned the Windows OS maker will somehow boost Teams’ compatibility and reliability with its bouquet of platforms and software.

There’s a consensus about increased complexities not just about interoperability, but also data migration. In other words, rivals claim Microsoft may make data portability a tedious task. This could significantly dissuade current users from migrating to other platforms.

Multiple reports suggest Microsoft’s competition could meet with the European Commission this week to discuss the case. The commission may prepare an early draft of the charge sheet this week.

In other words, the commission may officially file the charges against Microsoft, particularly regarding Teams, in the next few weeks. However, in the meantime, Microsoft could throw in an additional olive branch.

Hasn’t Microsoft done enough to promote healthy competition?

Europe has been keeping tabs on Microsoft, and its Teams software, for quite a few years. Specifically speaking, Slack, a Salesforce subsidiary, submitted a formal complaint over Microsoft’s Teams back in 2020.

After a lot of legal paperwork and arguments, Microsoft offered to unbundle Teams from Microsoft 365 in Europe. Moreover, the company could separate the collaboration platform from other software such as Office. Interestingly, Microsoft could gradually detach Teams from Office not just in Europe but across the world.

The European Commission reportedly feels Microsoft hasn’t done enough. The EU has opinioned that Microsoft must do more to facilitate fairness in the market.

Microsoft currently faces potential fines of up to 10 percent of its global annual turnover if the EU finds it breached the regional competition law. However, Microsoft isn’t alone. The EU is also keeping other tech giants including Meta, Apple, and Google in its crosshairs.

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