Last month, the European Commission announced that it had opened a formal investigation regarding Microsoft’s bundling of Microsoft Teams with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites for business customers. As we said at the time, “we will continue to cooperate with the Commission and remain committed to finding solutions that will address its concerns.”
Today we are announcing proactive changes that we hope will start to address these concerns in a meaningful way, even while the European Commission’s investigation continues and we cooperate with it. These changes will impact our Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites for business customers in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. They are designed to address two concerns that are central to the Commission’s investigation: (1) that customers should be able to choose a business suite without Teams at a price less than those with Teams included; and (2) that we should do more to make interoperability easier between rival communication and collaboration solutions and Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites.
Simply the threat of litigation is enough to get these massive corporations to fall in line. This will once again only benefit customers in the EU/EEA, so consumers in the US and elsewhere will still be forced to pay more for the inclusion of Teams, even if they don’t want it.