Microsoft continues to violate EU competition rules, says Brussels

Microsoft continues to violate EU competition rules, says Brussels
Microsoft continues to violate EU competition rules, says Brussels

Microsoft continues to breach European Union rules on antitrust and abuse of dominant position, says the European Commission (EC).

Brussels is criticizing the US-based global technology company for linking its ‘Teams’ communications and collaboration product to its popular productivity apps included in its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 office suites.

In the Statement of Objections addressed to the IT giant, the Commission says it is concerned that, since at least April 2019, Microsoft has linked Teams to its main SaaS (software as a service) productivity applications, thereby restricting competition in the IT products market. communication and collaboration and protecting its position in the productivity software market and its suite-centric model against competing individual software vendors.

Also read: Microsoft’s carbon emissions have increased by 30% since 2020

In particular, the European Executive fears that Microsoft may have given Teams a distribution advantage by not giving customers the choice of whether or not to acquire access to the latter when they subscribe to their SaaS productivity applications . This advantage may have been further aggravated, according to the EC, by the limitations of interoperability between Teams’ competitors and Microsoft’s offerings.

If confirmed, these practices would be contrary to Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits abuse of a dominant position on the market.

After the Commission opened the procedure in July 2023, Microsoft changed the way it distributes Teams. In particular, Microsoft has started offering suites without Teams. The Commission preliminarily concludes that these changes are ”insufficient” to address its concerns and that Microsoft must make further changes to its behavior to restore competition.

With MAP

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