Microsoft stops bundling Teams with Office after complaint from Slack

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Microsoft will stop bundling Teams with Office products, Financial Times sources say. That would have to do with an investigation by the European Commission. Microsoft would like to offer companies two Office packages, one without Teams.

Two sources say to the Financial Times that the company would have made that concession, but that the talks are still ongoing and it is not certain whether a deal will eventually be reached. The concession would not initiate a formal antitrust investigation. The agreement would consist of Microsoft no longer supplying the Teams communication app as standard with Office products for business users in the future, but that it is still available as an option. Office is now only available as a bundle.

The talks between Microsoft and the European Commission are the result of a complaint Slack filed in 2020. Slack criticizes Microsoft for automatically including competitive Teams with Office. The company asked the European Commission to open an investigation and force Microsoft to stop bundling; a situation that is very similar to the antitrust complaints against Microsoft in 2008 when the company shipped Internet Explorer as standard with Windows and for which Microsoft was heavily fined.

Microsoft would have made commitments to the European Commission before. Sources told Reuters last year. At the time, it was not yet known what those commitments were exactly.

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