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Microsoft to Unbundle Teams from Office 365 and Microsoft 365 in EU Markets Amid Antitrust Concerns

In a significant development, Microsoft is set to decouple its Teams software from the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites, specifically for the European markets, commencing in October. This strategic decision comes in response to concerns raised by the European Commission, particularly in light of potential antitrust issues. The move is aimed at affording European Union enterprise customers more flexibility in their choice of Microsoft 365 plans. They will have the option to select Microsoft 365 packages without Teams at a discounted rate or to obtain Teams as a standalone offering. Importantly, this change will not impact existing users, ensuring continuity of services.

The decision to offer standalone Teams licensing and more diverse Microsoft 365 plans follows a complaint made by Slack in 2020, alleging anti-competitive practices by Microsoft in bundling Teams with its productivity suite. This move not only seeks to address these antitrust concerns but also reflects Microsoft's commitment to fostering greater compatibility with its competitors. As part of this initiative, Microsoft is working on enabling rivals like Zoom and Slack to host Office web applications on their platforms. 

The European Commission will play a crucial role in evaluating whether these actions successfully address the concerns surrounding competition and antitrust issues. The outcome of their judgment is eagerly anticipated.


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