Microsoft will sell Teams separately from Office everywhere

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April 1, 2024
Today at
10:45

Microsoft wants to sell its video application Teams throughout the world as a separate product, separate from the office suite Office. In Europe, the software group is already doing this to avoid a competition fine.

The European Commission is currently investigating whether Microsoft is guilty of tying by selling Office and Teams in one bundle. The investigation followed a complaint from Slack, the communications app for office workers owned by Salesforce.

Teams was added as a free feature to Office 365 in 2017 and later replaced the business version of the phone software Skype. The application only became widely adopted during the pandemic.

But competitors say Microsoft has an unfair advantage by bundling Teams with its Office software, which is used by about 1.2 billion people worldwide. To reduce the risk of a fine, Microsoft disconnected both products in Europe in September last year.

Now the company is extending that disconnect to the rest of the world. This means that Office packages that do not contain Teams are also sold, and that Teams can also be purchased by companies that do not use Office.

It is far from certain whether Microsoft can avert a European competition fine with the decoupling. A concrete complaint from Brussels may be received in the coming months. Over the past ten years, Microsoft has already paid 2.2 billion euros in European antitrust fines for tying. The fines can amount to 10 percent of global annual turnover.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Microsoft sell Teams separately Office

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