Microsoft is facing a formal complaint from the European Union after its attempts to rectify its antitrust scrutiny with the unbundling of Teams failed to appease regulators.
The US tech giant recently proposed the detachment of Teams from its Office business software package following a complaint from Salesforce in 2020.
The owner of rival messaging app Slack claimed Microsoft was hurting competition and abusing its market position by bundling Teams in with its broader software package.
However, the proposal from Microsoft to sell the application separately to customers with an annual discount was not enough to convince EU regulators.
The European Commision is reportedly preparing a statement of objections to send to the US tech giant, according to Bloomberg who cited people familiar with the matter.
Microsoft has racked up a bill of over $2bn (€1.8bn) in EU antitrust fines over the past ten years for bundling products together.
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“While Microsoft and Apple are less at risk from data privacy issues, they are both highly exposed to antitrust regulation and meet the criteria to qualify as gatekeepers under the EU’s new antitrust legislation,” GlobalData said.
The EU’s flagship antitrust legislation, the DMA, continues to pose a substantial risk to big tech who dominate a lot of market share.
“[The DMA] came into force in May 2023 but is expected to be enforced starting from March 2024 with fines of up to 10% of a “gatekeeper’s” global turnover,” GlobalData said.
Adding: “Amazon, Meta, Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft all meet the criteria to qualify as large online platforms, and all will need to comply with a list of obligations or risk incurring hefty fines.”