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Microsoft Will Bifurcating Teams And Office Globally In Response To Antitrust Concerns

Microsoft Will Bifurcating Teams And Office Globally In Response To Antitrust Concerns
Six months after unbundling the two products in Europe to try and avoid a potential EU antitrust charge, Microsoft announced on Monday that it will pitch its chat and video programme Teams independently from its Office suite worldwide.
Following a complaint by the rival workspace messaging software Slack, which is owned by Salesforce, in 2020, the European Commission began looking into Microsoft's integration of Office and Teams.
Teams, which was a free addition to Office 365 in 2017, eventually took the position of Skype for Business. Its video conferencing feature helped Teams gain popularity during the pandemic.
However, competitors claimed Microsoft had an unfair edge because the products are packaged together. On October 1st of last year, the business began selling the two goods separately throughout the EU and Switzerland.
"To ensure clarity for our customers, we are extending the steps we took last year to unbundle Teams from M365 and O365 in the European Economic Area and Switzerland to customers globally," a Microsoft spokesperson said.
"Doing so also addresses feedback from the European Commission by providing multinational companies more flexibility when they want to standardise their purchasing across geographies."
In a blog post, Microsoft announced the launch of a new array of commercial Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites that do not contain Teams for customers in locations outside of Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as a new Teams standalone offering for Enterprise customers in those territories.
Customers have until April 1st to decide whether to stick with their present licencing agreement, renew, update, or choose one of the new options.
Depending on the bundle, Office without Teams costs $7.75 to $54.75 for new commercial customers, whereas Teams Standalone costs $5.25. The numbers could vary depending on the nation and currency. The costs of the company's existing packaged goods were not made public.
The level of costs and Microsoft's messaging services' compatibility with Office Web Applications in other companies' offerings are being criticised by rivals; it is possible that Microsoft's unbundling will not be sufficient to fend off EU antitrust charges, which are expected to be brought against the business in the coming months, according to sources.
If found guilty of antitrust violations, Microsoft, which has paid 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in fines to the EU over the last ten years for linking or bundling two or more products together, could face penalty equal to up to 10% of its yearly global revenue.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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