The judicial news could well darken a little more in Europe for Microsoft. The American giant is being sued by OVHcloud for its practices on the cloud market. Nextcloud and nearly 30 other European companies are attacking its OneDrive cloud storage offer.
The integration of Teams in Office also does not escape criticism. Slack has triggered a procedure with the European authorities, who have been conducting the investigation since 2021. Alfaview bring new elements to the file.
A Teams/Office 365 bundle disastrous for the competition
The German publisher of a video conferencing solution for professionals has filed a complaint with the Commission. It is therefore the second to target the bundle associating Teams and the Microsoft Office cloud suite.
According to the German company with 500 employees, the linked sale of Teams and Office 365 constitutes a unique competitive advantage and especially unjustified by performance reasons. This asset would thus constitute a detriment to competition.
Teams was initially launched as an alternative to Skype for Business. The video conferencing and collaborative application added for free to Office 365 in 2017 has since become a must-have tool.
“The fact of linking Teams to the other applications of the Microsoft 365 suite creates a multipolar distribution advantage for the American group,” denounces the CEO and founder of Alfaview, Niko Fostiropoulos.
Microsoft’s insufficient concessions
For Slack, Microsoft has “illegally linked its Teams product to its Office Productivity suite, dominant on the market, by forcing its installation for millions of people, blocking its withdrawal and hiding the real cost from business customers.”
The Redmond firm, aware of the risks of sanctions, proposes, in the face of increasing pressure, concessions, such as, for example, to market a cheaper version of Office without integration of Teams.
“We continue to cooperate with the Commission in its investigation and are open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve the interests of customers,” Microsoft says.
However, these concessions do not satisfy the competition. Alfaview is asking the EU antitrust authority to open a formal investigation, considering that the corrective measures proposed by its American rival to the Commission are insufficient.
For its anti-competitive practices in Europe, the American publisher has already received fines for a cumulative amount of more than 2 billion euros.