Brussels: The American software and technology services empire, Microsoft, reduced the price of subscribing to the Office 365 software package without the Teams communication platform, in an attempt to appease the European Union, which is investigating suspicions that the American company is committing monopolistic practices.
Microsoft said in an online statement that, starting next October, its corporate clients in the European Economic Area and Switzerland will be able to obtain the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 application package without the Teams platform for a monthly subscription that is $2.17 less than the current subscription.
With this step, Microsoft makes a concession to the European Commission, which is concerned with enforcing competition and antitrust rules in the European Union, which last month began an official investigation into whether Microsoft was competing unfairly by integrating the Teams communication platform into its Office software packages.
The Commission believes that with this merger, Microsoft gives the Teams platform an unfair advantage over competing platforms such as Slack.
At the same time, Microsoft said that its current customers who subscribed to the Office 365 application package with the Teams platform can keep their subscriptions as they are or switch to the cheaper subscription without the Teams platform. Microsoft also indicated improving communication mechanisms between its programs and other communication services competing with Tamayoz.
It is noteworthy that the Teams platform, along with Slack, Zoom, and other video conferencing and office chat platforms, has achieved increasing importance during the expansion of work-from-home or remote systems due to the Corona virus pandemic.
The European Union began its investigation into Microsoft’s practices due to a complaint from the Slack platform in the summer of 2020. The platform, which is now part of the American Internet and cloud computing services company Salesforce, said that merging Teams with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 reduces its ability to compete with it.
According to a report published by the British Financial Times, Microsoft initially offered to stop the automatic installation of Teams for Office clients. At the same time, Microsoft agreed to implement this separation in the European Union market only, but the European Commission insisted on applying it worldwide.
And last July, the European Commission said that Microsoft had not submitted a sufficient proposal to allay its fears of a decline in the level of competition in the office communication services market due to the integration of Teams into Office 365 and Microsoft 365.