Microsoft separates Teams from the Office program – Business

Microsoft separates Teams from the Office program – Business

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Under pressure from EU competition watchdogs, the US technology group Microsoft is unbundling its Teams video conferencing program from its Office software package. The group will sell its Teams chat app to customers worldwide separately from Office, a spokesman said. Last year, Microsoft began selling Teams in the EU and Switzerland separately from Office in order to avoid an antitrust fine from the EU Commission. “To ensure clarity for our customers, we are extending the steps we took last year to unbundle M365 and O365 teams in the European Economic Area and Switzerland to customers worldwide,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Teams was added to Office 365 for free in 2017 and later replaced Skype for Business. The product enjoyed great popularity during the pandemic due to its video conferencing. However, competitors criticized that linking the products gave Microsoft an unfair advantage. Slack Technologies wrote in its complaint that Pursue illegally tied teams to its dominant productivity platforms. The EU Commission then took aim at Microsoft and initiated proceedings.

“Distance communication and collaboration tools such as teams have become indispensable for many companies in Europe. We must therefore ensure that the markets for these products remain open to competition and that companies can freely choose which products best meet their needs,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager explains.

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