EU questions Microsoft rivals over Teams integration in Office

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BRUSSELS, Oct 8 (Businesshala) – European Union antitrust regulator Microsoft (MSFT.O) is following a complaint from Slack Technologies by asking rivals whether its Teams app is integrated with its Office product, indicating in that they can open it. an inquiry.

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In a questionnaire sent to rivals and seen by Businesshala, the European Commission is focusing on the period 2016 to 2021. Microsoft introduced Teams in early 2017 to compete with Slack and others in the rapidly growing workplace collaboration market.

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Slack, which was bought by business software maker Salesforce.com (CRM.n) in July, last year filed its complaint with the commission on Microsoft’s Teams software.

Microsoft, which has been given 2.2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in EU fines over the past decade for cases involving so-called tying up and other practices, declined to comment.

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Slack alleged that it was illegal to tie or bind the teams with the office and urged the EU’s competition agency to separate the two.

It said Microsoft Workplace Chat pre-installed was difficult to uninstall and the US company declined to provide information that would allow rival products to work with Teams and Office.

This has prompted the Commission to ask whether bundled products provide companies with access to data that could both increase their market power in markets as well as for competitors, specifically to compete with only the product. make it difficult.

It has also asked about the entry or expansion of the workplace apps market, the switching cost for customers and the importance of user data security.

Competitors were asked for a list of customers who have switched to Microsoft Teams or its bundled Office, the percentage of revenue they generate as a result, as well as the impact on their investment in innovation of integrated products and about quality and price. I was asked. their products.

The questionnaire asked whether COVID-19 has driven demand for workplace apps and how it will evolve after the pandemic.

Other companies that offer workplace apps include Zoom Video Communications (ZM.O), Alphabet’s Google, Facebook (FB.O) and Cisco (CSCO.O).

($1 = 0.8641 Euro)

Reporting by Fu Yun Chi; Editing by Alexander Smith

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