Microsoft plans to cease bundling Microsoft Teams with its Office suite in sales offerings

The Financial Times reports that Microsoft plans to cease bundling Microsoft Teams with its Office suite in sales offerings, in order to avoid being accused of market monopoly violations by European Union regulators.

According to sources, future Office suite sales packages will offer combinations featuring only services like Word and PowerPoint, as well as options that include Microsoft Teams as an additional component.

However, Microsoft has not clarified how it will separate the deeply integrated Microsoft Teams service from the Office suite, and it remains uncertain whether the EU will accept this approach and reach a consensus.

Microsoft Team Windows 11

In the past, Microsoft faced allegations of market monopoly violations from the EU due to the deep integration of the Internet Explorer browser with the Windows operating system, resulting in other browsers being unable to compete fairly. In 2009, Microsoft reached a settlement with the EU, allowing users to choose their preferred browser during the Windows installation process.

Nevertheless, the EU issued a ruling in 2013, stating that Microsoft had not satisfied its requirements and subsequently fined the company €561 million for monopoly violations. Whether Microsoft will face similar consequences for potential market monopoly violations involving Microsoft Teams remains to be seen, depending on its negotiations with EU antitrust authorities.

The primary catalyst for this potential EU market monopoly violation is Salesforce, which acquired the Slack collaboration tool and lodged a complaint with the EU, claiming that Microsoft’s bundling sales of Microsoft Teams violated market monopoly regulations, prompting the EU to launch an investigation.