Microsoft could face an investigation into alleged fraudulent practices helping it in the office software space.
Reuters (opens in a new tab) says an EU antitrust investigation may focus on the fact that the videoconferencing service is bundled with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), which includes apps like Word, Excel, and OneDrive cloud storage.
This so-called unfair integration has been highlighted by Slack, another big player in the online collaboration space – which is likely suffering from Microsoft 365’s pricing model.
Teams vs. Slack
Slack currently costs from $7.25 (£5.75) per user per month on a yearly contract, offering full chat support, video conferencing and voice call support.
Microsoft’s cheapest business plan costs from $6 (£4.50) per month per year and includes Teams, 1TB of cloud storage, and web versions of major apps. A subscription with full desktop clients starts at $12 (£7.90) per month.
Reuters says Slack has urged the EU competition authority to require Microsoft to sell its Teams platform separately, in addition to its Microsoft 365 suite, which would promote better competition from companies like Slack, Zoom and Google Workspace.
The European Commission has reportedly sent out more questionnaires after a series sent last October, which some people say could be the beginning of an investigation into the company’s practices.
Microsoft is currently working on a premium version of Teams where things like AI transcription in 40 different languages and more advanced security features will be introduced. It’s due to arrive in Q1 2023, but at least for now, it won’t stop the standard Teams build remaining part of the wider 365 suite.
TechRadar Pro asked Microsoft for comment – any responses will be updated here.