Microsoft has been selling Office and Teams part of the same offering but now it has decided to sell the apps separately to avoid antitrust concerns.News 

Microsoft is prepared to offer Teams and Office apps as standalone products amid antitrust worries.

BRUSSELS: Microsoft will sell its chat and video app Teams separately from its Office product globally, the US tech giant said on Monday, six months after it separated the two products in Europe in a bid to avoid a potential EU antitrust fine.

The European Commission has investigated Microsoft’s Office and Teams tie-up following a 2020 complaint by Slack, a rival workplace messaging app owned by Salesforce.

Added to Office 365 for free in 2017, Teams later replaced Skype for Business and became popular during the pandemic in part because of its video conferencing capabilities.

However, competitors said bundling the products together gives Microsoft an unfair advantage. The company started selling these two products separately in the EU and Switzerland on August 31 last year.

“To ensure clarity for our customers, we are expanding the steps we took last year to unbundle Teams from M365 and O365 in the EEA and Switzerland to customers worldwide,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

“This also responds to feedback from the European Commission by offering more flexibility to multinationals when they want to standardize their procurement across geographies.”

Microsoft said in a blog post that it is introducing a new range of commercial Microsoft 365 and Office 365 software packages that do not include Teams regions outside the EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland, as well as a new standalone Teams offering to business customers in those countries. areas.

From April 1, customers can either extend their current license agreement, renew, upgrade or switch to new offers.

For new commercial customers, prices for Office without Teams range from $7.75 to $54.75 depending on the product, while Teams Standalone costs $5.25. Figures may vary by country and currency. The company did not disclose the prices of the current packaged products.

Microsoft’s differentiation may not be enough to prevent EU antitrust charges likely to be sent to the company in the coming months as rivals criticize the level of charges and the ability of messaging services to work with Office Web Applications in their own services. sources said.

Microsoft, which has racked up 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in EU antitrust fines over the past decade for bundling or bundling two or more products, faces a fine of up to 10 percent of its annual global revenue if found guilty of antitrust. violations.

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