Microsoft Breached Antitrust Rules by Bundling Teams With Office Software, European Union Says

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Story by Kelvin Chan, AP News

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft violated European Union antitrust rules with “possibly abusive” practices by tying its Teams messaging and videoconferencing app to its widely used business software, the bloc said.

The European Commission said Monday it informed Microsoft of its preliminary view that the U.S. tech giant has been “restricting competition” by bundling Teams with core office productivity applications such as Office 365 and Microsoft 365.

The commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top antitrust enforcer, said it suspects Microsoft might have granted Teams a “distribution advantage” by not giving customers a choice on whether to have Teams when they purchased the software. The advantage might have been widened by limits on the ability of rival messaging apps to work with Microsoft software, it said.

“We are concerned that Microsoft may be giving its own communication product Teams an undue advantage over competitors, by tying it to its popular productivity suites for businesses,” Margrethe Vestager, the commission’s executive vice-president for competition policy, said in a statement.

“And preserving competition for remote communication and collaboration tools is essential as it also fosters innovation on these markets.”

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