Slack files antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the EU

Slack files antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the EU

"We're confident that we win on the merits of our product, but we can't ignore illegal behavior that deprives customers of access to the tools and solutions they want", Jonathan Prince, Slack's vice president of communications and policy, said in a statement.

Slack has accused Microsoft of being engaged in an "illegal and anti-competitive practice" by bundling Teams with its Office 365 enterprise suite in a way that is created to eliminate rivals, which would be a breach of the European Commission's antitrust rules.

"Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force installing it for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the true cost to enterprise customers", Slack said in a statement.

Teams is Microsoft's communication and collaboration software, which is a direct competitor to Slack. Microsoft claimed that organizations did not adopt Slack because of the lack of video conferencing capabilities.

Microsoft looks forward "to providing additional information to the European Commission and answering any questions they may have", it said in an emailed statement. The complaint alleges that Microsoft is automatically installing Teams on Office purchasers' computers and then preventing them from uninstalling it.

Slack's general counsel, David Schellhase, added that the company wants fair competition and "a level playing field" and accused Microsoft of "reverting to past behaviour".

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Like Slack, Teams is aimed at enterprise customers and enables users to chat, video-conference and share files with one another. As of 2018, Microsoft Office had 155 million businesses using the software.

In 2013, the European Commission fined Microsoft €561 million for failing to honour commitments and offer users a choice of web browser.

The European Commission is to review Slack's complaint and decide whether to open a formal investigation into Microsoft's practices.

Fact: Anyone can uninstall Microsoft Teams client from their PC at anytime.

Nadella also pointed to new video features such as "Together Mode" in Microsoft Teams. Announced two weeks ago, the feature places participants against a shared virtual background, removing individual backdrops in an effort to make it easier to pick up on non-verbal cues and to interact more like in real life.

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