Microsoft could be investigated for alleged unfair practices in its office software space.
Reuters (opens in a new window) An EU antitrust investigation could be focused on the fact that video conferencing is integrated with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), which also includes apps like Word, Excel, and OneDrive cloud storage.
This alleged unfair integration was brought to our attention by Slack, another major player in online collaboration. It is likely that Slack is suffering from Microsoft 365’s pricing model.
Teams vs. Slack
Slack currently costs from $7.25 (£5.75) per user per month on an annual contract, and offers full chat, video conferencing and voice call support.
Microsoft’s cheapest business plan starts at $6 (£4.50) per month, annually, and includes Teams, 1TB of cloud storage, and web versions of its top apps. A subscription with full desktop clients starts at $12 (£7.90) per month.
Reuters reports that Slack has asked the EU competition authority for Microsoft to sell its Teams platform separately from the Microsoft 365 suite. This would encourage better competition from companies such as Slack and Zoom, and Google Workspace.
According to some reports, the European Commission has sent out more questionnaires following a batch sent last October. This could indicate that the European Commission is beginning an investigation into the company’s practices.
Microsoft is currently working on a premium version of Teams that will see the introduction of things like AI transcription in 40 different languages and more advanced security features. It’s expected to arrive in 2023’s first quarter, but for the time being, the standard version will still be available as part of the larger package of 365.
Tech Radar Pro Microsoft has been asked for a comment. Any responses will be updated here.