Slack has filed an anticompetition complaint against Microsoft in Europe, arguing that the software giant “illegally” bundles Teams into its omnipresent Microsoft Office product.
Microsoft launched its Slack-style enterprise communication Teams platform back in 2016, and the two companies have enjoyed some healthy rivalry — Slack even went so far as to take out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times telling Microsoft what it needs to do to succeed in the team communication sphere.
While both Slack and Microsoft Teams have benefited from the surge in remote-working due to the COVID-19 crisis, Slack has now officially filed a complaint with the European Commission, asking it to take “swift action to ensure Microsoft cannot continue to illegally leverage its power from one market to another by bundling or tying products.”
Indeed, while Slack is broadly available as a standalone service and application with various pricing tiers, Microsoft Teams comes as part of an Office 365 subscription, though there is a free version of Teams available too. At the crux of Slack’s complaint is that Microsoft is using its market dominance with Office to force millions of people to install Teams, with no way to remove it and no clear way of knowing how much Teams actually costs given that it is bundled as part of a broader subscription.
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