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Microsoft globally divides Teams and Office in response to antitrust investigation

Microsoft has announced that it will be selling its chat and video app Teams separately from its Office product globally in response to ongoing antitrust investigations. This move comes after unbundling the products in Europe, following complaints from competitors like Slack. Teams, initially added to Office 365 for free, became popular during the pandemic, leading rivals to argue that bundling gives Microsoft an unfair advantage. Microsoft’s decision to unbundle the products globally aims to address concerns raised by the European Commission and provide more flexibility to multinational companies.

In a recent blog post, Microsoft detailed its plans to introduce new commercial Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites that exclude Teams outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The company also announced a standalone Teams offering for Enterprise customers in those regions. Starting April 1, customers can opt to renew, update, or switch to these new offers, with prices for Office without Teams ranging from $7.75 to $54.75 for different products and Teams Standalone priced at $5.25. While the exact figures may vary, Microsoft’s move to unbundle products may not fully shield it from potential EU antitrust charges, particularly regarding fees and interoperability concerns. Given past antitrust fines, Microsoft faces the risk of substantial penalties if found guilty of violating competition laws.

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