Microsoft is looking to to address EU antitrust concerns following complaints from messaging app Slack.
The concerns surround Microsoft Teams, which rivals claim has gained an unfair advantage in the video conferencing and online collaboration market due to being bundled as part of Microsoft 365.
Microsoft had previously announced plans to change its terms in an effort to level the playing field in October 2022, citing the “importance of an open and competitive cloud economy in Europe” in a blog post (opens in new tab).
Microsoft Teams vs competition
Reuters (opens in new tab) highlights the company’s extensive history of controversy, which has totalled €2.2 billion in fines over the past decade for cases relating to tying and other practices.
Microsoft is keen to stress its innocence, though. To counter threats from other companies, it explained that Teams (which was introduced in 2017) managed significant growth during the pandemic thanks to its native video conferencing support, enabling people to meet face-to-face virtually. At the time, Slack didn’t have such a tool, which saw it lose out to companies like Microsoft and Google.
Questionnaires have already been sent out to rivals by the European Union’s antitrust watchdog, set to challenge Microsoft’s interoperability and bundling practices – something the company should be accustomed to, following complaints about the bundling of cloud storage platform OneDrive with Windows.
In a stark contrast to Microsoft’s practices, Google and Zoom have been working together to make it easier for users on opposing platforms to connect, reducing business’s needs to fork out for multiple licences.
Zoom users are set to be able to join Meet calls “across all platforms” by the end of the year, and while Meet users will need to be running ChromeOS-based Meet devices to join Zoom calls, it’s a step in the right direction that could see Microsoft lose out in the long run.
For now, Microsoft remains committed to improving its already popular platform by extending accessibility features, adding new tools, and tweaking updates.