Since Windows 8, Microsoft has bundled its cloud storage service OneDrive in the operating system, and this practice continues to the latest Windows 11.
In Windows 11, Microsoft also bundles the Microsoft Teams application and even provides unique features for Microsoft Teams from the operating system level.
This approach of quickly grabbing the market by bundling has caused dissatisfaction with EU companies. NextCloud, an open-source network storage service, complained about unfair competition from Microsoft.
For this reason, NextCloud and a coalition of EU companies filed a lawsuit with the EU and German antitrust agencies, claiming that Microsoft is abusing its dominant market position.
A coalition of EU companies stated that Microsoft has bundled Microsoft 365 services with its dominant operating system, and the service has been deeply integrated into the system.
For example, when users need to deal with file storage, OneDrive will become a choice of users. Another example is that Teams is also integrated and promoted to users.
This approach prevents other competitors from acquiring users from Microsoft, and it illustrates anti-competitive practices such as self-preference based on the dominant position of the Windows market.
As a result, in terms of cloud storage, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon accounted for 66% of the market share in Europe, while the share of local companies in the European Union dropped from 26% to 16%.
They claim that this behavior is very similar to what happened when Microsoft bundled IE with the system and destroyed the Netscape browser in the late 1990s.
Obviously, this situation is detrimental to consumers and the market, and of course, it is also detrimental to EU companies. Therefore, it is necessary to require regulators to implement a level playing field.
At present, a coalition of EU companies led by NextCloud has filed a lawsuit with the European Union and German regulators in advance, but the regulators have not yet issued a response.
It is worth noting that Slack has also filed a lawsuit with regulators before, mainly against Microsoft’s bundling of Microsoft Teams through the operating system. However, the final result depends on the investigation of the regulatory agency.