Exclusive-Microsoft to separate Teams and Office globally amid antitrust scrutiny By Reuters


By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Microsoft (NASDAQ: ) will sell its social networking and video suites separately from its global Office products, a U.S. technology expert said on Monday, six months after it pulled the two products out of Europe to avoid a possible fallout. EU antitrust good.

The European Commission has been investigating Microsoft’s handling of Office and Teams since 2020 after Salesforce’s complaints about its Slack workplace competitor.

Teams, which was added to Office 365 in 2017 for free, replaced Skype for Business and became known during the pandemic for its video conferencing.

Critics, however, said putting the products together gives Microsoft an unfair advantage. The company began selling the two products separately in the EU and Switzerland on Aug. 31 last year.

“To ensure that our customers are better informed, we are expanding what we did last year to remove the M365 and O365 Groups in the European Economic Area and Switzerland for customers around the world,” said Microsoft.

“This action also addresses the comments from the European Commission by giving multinational companies more flexibility when they want to coordinate their purchases in different locations.”

Microsoft said in a blogpost that it is introducing a new list of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 businesses that do not include Groups located outside the EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland, as well as new representative Groups that provide Enterprise customers in those regions.

Starting April 1, customers can continue with their current licenses, renew, upgrade or upgrade to new products.

For new retail customers, Office without Teams prices range from $7.75 to $54.75 depending on the product while Teams Standalone will cost $5.25. These figures may vary by country and currency. The company has not revealed the prices of the packaged products yet.

Microsoft’s compromise may not be enough to stop EU antitrust lawsuits that could be brought against the company in the coming months as competitors criticize the increased fines and the ability of their text messages to work with the Office Web Application in their services, sources said.

Microsoft, which has racked up 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in EU fines over the past decade for tying or combining two or more products together, is at risk of fines of 10% of its annual global revenue if found guilty. unbeliever. violations.

($1 = 0.9265 euros)

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