Starting in October, Teams will no longer be a default application bundled in Office 365 and Microsoft 365. In fact, a new and cheaper Microsoft 365 subscription without Teams will become available. Microsoft is making the adjustment to address EU concerns and is therefore making the change only in Europe.
In October, Microsoft will launch a new Microsoft 365 subscription that lacks the Teams communications platform. It will not be a big saving for interesting companies because the bundle will cost a maximum of two euros less per month. Those sitting on the Business Basic plan and taking Teams out of the bundle will save one euro a month.
Microsoft reconciles with the EU
Microsoft is reconciling with the EU with this announcement. The European Commission last month officially opened an investigation into Microsoft’s bundling practices. That investigation was three years in the making and resulted from a complaint by Slack to competition authorities in Europe.
Microsoft will adjust its offerings from October on, to make that investigation easier. Microsoft itself says that the bundles are being adjusted to address Europe’s concerns and also makes it clear that the adjustments will only apply to European customers.
On top of this, the Teams provider says it wants to ensure better interoperability toward competing video platforms in the future. Integrations of Zoom and Slack should thus become possible in applications in Office 365, such as Exchange, Outlook and Teams. In addition, it should become possible to open documents formatted in Office on the Web from a competing platform.
‘We are cooperating with the investigation’
For now, the European Commission’s investigation is ongoing. Anyway, the bundling of Teams in Office 365 and Teams 365 will no longer be the subject of investigation. When the investigation was announced, interested parties testified that the Commission would only take swift action if Microsoft did not make any changes to the bundled offerings.
Microsoft referred in the announcement to the ongoing investigation and said the Commission could count on smooth cooperation. The Commission did not yet respond to the announcement and thus may still decide to stop the investigation.