EU antitrust regulators are following up on a complaint by Slack Technologies by asking Microsoft’s rivals if its Teams app integrated with its Office product gives it greater clout, reported Reuters.
In a questionnaire sent to rivals and seen by Reuters, the European Commission is focusing on the period 2016 to 2021. Microsoft introduced Teams in early 2017 to compete with Slack and others in the fast-growing workplace collaboration market.
Slack, bought by business software maker Salesforce in July, took its grievance over Microsoft’s Teams software to the Commission last year.
Microsoft, which has been handed €2.2 billion (US$2.6 billion) in EU fines for cases involving so-called tying and other practices in the previous decade, declined to comment.
Slack alleged that tying or bundling Teams with Office was illegal and urged the EU competition agency to separate the two.
It claimed that Microsoft pre-installs the workplace chat, it was difficult to uninstall and that the US company refused to provide information which would allow rival products to work with Teams and Office.
This has prompted the Commission to ask if bundled products give companies access to data that may increase their market power in both markets and at the same time make it harder for rivals, in particular those with only product, to compete.
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