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Teams antitrust measures might need more work, Microsoft chief says

Microsoft's vice-chair and president Brad Smith.
Microsoft's vice-chair and president Brad Smith. Copyright Susan Walsh/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Susan Walsh/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Cynthia Kroet
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The tech giant made changes after the EU Commission launched an investigation last summer.

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Unbundling Teams from Microsoft Office might not suffice to comply with the EU’s competition rules, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said today (4 June).

Last October, the company decided to separate the services after the European Commission launched a formal investigation into the tech giant in July 2023 over concerns that it gave its messaging and videoconferencing app Teams an unfair advantage over its competitors by including it within its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 packages.

Speaking at a media roundtable in Brussels, Smith said that despite much being done to resolve the issue, “it seems apparent that our work is not done yet”.  

“I wanted us to find a resolution to the Teams issues, that's why we took the steps in Europe and outside of Europe. We have taken the steps that people were looking for us to take, but I think it might take additional steps,” he said.

In a statement sent to Euronews in April of this year, a Microsoft spokesperson said that extending the measure globally would "ensure clarity for our customers".

He said that it would not "be surprising" if the company receives a statement of objections – a formal next step to the investigatory process. 

“But this doesn’t always lead to a case. If we get one we will work with it to see and understand. We are committed, wherever we can, to find a solution to the concerns,” he added.

Smith met EU Competition Commissioner Margarethe Vestager in Brussels today, but he did not give more details about the discussion.

The EU executive's antitrust investigation was related to a complaint from the communication platform Slack, now owned by Salesforce, filed in 2020.

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