European antitrust authorities have asked Microsoft’s competitors whether they are sufficiently reassured now that Teams is no longer offered in Microsoft 365 bundles by default. It looks like the EU wants to gather criticism to build a hard case against Microsoft’s bundled offerings.
Competitors of Microsoft received a questionnaire from European antitrust authorities, Reuters knows. With this, they asked how these companies view the new Microsoft 365 bundles. It asks how the services offered by the competing company can interact with Microsoft’s services and whether customers can easily switch offerings. It is not known which companies received a questionnaire.
This is because Microsoft 365 bundles have been revamped in Europe. As a result, Microsoft 365 bundles without Teams were added to the different packages. The tech giant said the move was necessary, due to a complaint about unfair competition.
Preparation for investigation
With the questionnaire, the EU can prepare for a larger investigation into Microsoft’s bundling practices. Due to its wide range of services, the tech giant manages to combine services in a way that disadvantages competitors’ offerings. Consider, for example, the discount Azure users, Microsoft’s cloud service received for running Microsoft 365 apps. The discount has only recently become available to AWS users, but Google Cloud users are still left behind.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) will make such practices impossible, as they can lead to unfair competition. As of March 6, 2024, fines for violating the DMA are possible.