Office: European Commission regulators have heeded a complaint by the corporate platform Slack against its main rival in the corporate messaging sector. From now on, the organization’s antitrust group will investigate a possible anti-competitive market practice involving the integration between two Microsoft products, Teams and Office.
According to the original complaint, Microsoft launched Teams in early 2017 to compete directly against Slack and took an illegal step by integrating it with Office content editing packs. In addition, it would be difficult to uninstall the platform and the brand itself would not have cooperated by providing information about a possible integration of competitors.
Slack’s complaint could fall into accusations of “tying-up” of services from the same manufacturer, which would reduce the chance of competition. As the complaint was accepted, the European Commission now proceeds to the stage of research and analysis of the market, including sending a questionnaire to those involved.
Questions include the percentage of large customers who migrated from Slack to Teams after integration, changes in revenue generated during that time period, and the impact of this action on other parts of Microsoft. The increased use of these services—and a possible increase in this discrepancy—during the covid-19 pandemic must also be evaluated.
Microsoft was already fined by the European Commission in 2013 for breaking an antitrust agreement involving pre-installation of browsers on PC operating systems.