Efforts to secure concessions have proven ineffective, leading the European Commission (EC) to take a stringent stance against Microsoft concerning its Teams application.
The EC, functioning as the European Union’s antitrust authority, has expressed disapproval of how Microsoft, the American software giant, has integrated the Teams app into its Office suite, as reported by Bloomberg. While the EC has not officially filed a complaint against Microsoft, sources within the Commission have informed Bloomberg of their intention to communicate their objections to the company.
This development carries substantial consequences for Microsoft, extending beyond initial appearances. Failure to reach a resolution with the EC could result in a substantial fine, potentially reaching up to ten percent of the company’s global sales for the year. In Microsoft’s case, this could equate to nearly $20 billion or approximately CZK 431 billion.
In late July, the EC conveyed its concerns, stating, “The Commission is apprehensive that Microsoft may be exploiting its dominant market position in productivity software and safeguarding this privileged status by impeding competition in the European Economic Area for communication and collaboration products.”
The discord traces its roots back to 2020 when the owner of Slack initiated a complaint with the EC against Microsoft, alleging that the software giant was leveraging its market dominance by integrating the Teams communication app into Office. While Microsoft made an attempt to comply with the EC’s requirements by providing Office without the bundled chat app, the prolonged negotiations spanning nearly three years have evidently failed to yield a resolution.
Sources cited by Reuters indicate that the concessions offered by Microsoft are deemed insufficient by the commissioners, leaving the company with no apparent recourse to address the issue.