Microsoft proposes to charge for Teams to satisfy EU antitrust concerns

Microsoft has proposed to charge different pricing for its Office suite with and without its Teams software to stave off a potential EU antitrust inquiry and penalties, two individuals familiar with the situation said.

Microsoft has been working to resolve the EU competition enforcer's concerns since last year when Salesforce-owned workplace messaging tool Slack protested to the European Commission, several individuals familiar with the subject told Reuters in December.

Slack in 2020 argued that Microsoft had improperly incorporated its office chat and video service Teams into its Office offering. The U.S. internet giant debuted Teams in 2017 targeting the fast-growing and profitable office collaboration industry.

The European Commission on Thursday indicated there were additional complainants besides Slack.

"We have received multiple complaints about Microsoft, including by Slack alleging Microsoft's actions in regards to its Teams product. As you know the evaluation is underway therefore we cannot disclose more," a spokeswoman said.

Microsoft said it continues to work collaboratively with the Commission and was "open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well".

Salesforce refused to respond.

The EU antitrust agency is collecting comments from Microsoft competitors on its plan, the individuals added.

In the previous decade, the European Commission penalised Microsoft 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) for actions in contravention of EU competition regulations, including tying or bundling two or more products together.