Microsoft Unbundles Teams from Office in Europe Amid EU Antitrust Concerns

In a strategic move to address rising antitrust concerns in Europe, Microsoft has announced its decision to unbundle the Teams software from its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 productivity suites in European markets. This decision comes in the wake of the European Commission initiating a formal antitrust investigation into Microsoft’s practice of bundling its Teams software with the Office suite.

Starting from October, enterprise customers in the European Union will have the option to purchase Microsoft 365 subscriptions at a reduced monthly rate without the inclusion of Teams. Alternatively, they can opt for a standalone version of Teams at a listed price of €5 per month or €60 annually. This unbundling initiative primarily targets large enterprises, while Microsoft’s offerings for small businesses will continue to include Teams. However, a “no Teams” option will also be available at a slightly reduced price for these business plans.

Furthermore, Microsoft is taking steps to enhance its documentation on interoperability with Microsoft 365 and Office 365. This will facilitate rivals such as Zoom and Slack to seamlessly integrate with Microsoft platforms like Exchange, Outlook, and Teams. In addition, competitors will have the provision to host Office web applications within their respective apps, mirroring Microsoft’s approach in Teams.

This unbundling move can be traced back to a complaint filed by Slack against Microsoft in July 2020. Slack accused Microsoft of anti-competitive behavior, alleging that Teams was being forcibly installed and tied to the Office suite, thereby obstructing its removal and concealing its actual cost to enterprise customers. As Microsoft awaits feedback from EU regulators on its recent unbundling decision, the company remains committed to collaborating with the European Commission. Microsoft aims to strike a balance between addressing competitor interests and ensuring European business customers have access to top-tier solutions at competitive prices.