Microsoft to unbundle Teams from Office in Europe under EU pressure.

Microsoft to unbundle Teams from Office in Europe under EU pressure.

Microsoft Unbundles Teams from Office 365 Suite in Europe to Address Antitrust Concerns

In a recent move to address concerns raised by the European Union (EU) regarding antitrust issues, Microsoft has announced that it will begin unbundling its popular collaboration tool, Teams, from its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites in European markets. This decision aims to promote competition and allow customers more freedom in choosing the products that best suit their needs.

Teams has become an essential tool for businesses across Europe, especially in light of the remote working trend that has emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the European Commission, prompted by a complaint filed by Slack, decided to open a formal investigation into Microsoft’s bundling practices. Slack accused the tech giant of abusing its market dominance to stifle competition.

In response to the investigation and in an effort to find a balance between the interests of competitors and European business customers, Microsoft will split up the software in the European Economic Area, which includes EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. This change will take effect on October 1st.

Starting from this date, enterprise customers will have the option to purchase Office 365 and Microsoft 365 without Teams at a reduced price of €2 per month or €24 per year. To access Teams, they will need to buy a standalone subscription priced at €5 per month or €60 per year. This new pricing structure provides customers the flexibility to choose the services they require, while offering competitive rates.

The unbundling of Teams is a proactive step taken by Microsoft to address the EU’s concerns and maintain a competitive marketplace. The company is determined to ensure that businesses have access to the best possible solutions at reasonable prices. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, highlighted the significance of remote communication and collaboration tools like Teams for European businesses, emphasizing the need to safeguard a competitive market and freedom of choice.

Microsoft’s Vice President for European Government Affairs, Nanna-Louise Linde, expressed the company’s perspective in a blog post. Linde stated that the changes introduced by Microsoft strike a balance between the interests of competitors and those of European business customers. By providing access to competitive pricing and allowing customers to opt for the most suitable products, Microsoft aims to alleviate concerns raised by the European Commission.

With the unbundling of Teams, enterprise customers using Office 365 and Microsoft 365 in the European market will now have the flexibility to choose whether to include Teams in their subscription or purchase it separately. This move not only promotes competition but also takes into consideration the evolving needs of businesses in a digitized world.

Microsoft’s decision to unbundle Teams in Europe signifies its commitment to fostering a fair and competitive market environment. As remote work becomes an integral part of businesses worldwide, providing businesses with the freedom to select the communication and collaboration tools that best suit their requirements is paramount. With this latest development, Microsoft aims to address the EU’s concerns while empowering its customers to make informed choices that will benefit their organizations.