Following Slack’s complaint, Microsoft rivals question EU team coordination in offices

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EU distrustful regulators are following up on Slack Technologies’ complaint that Microsoft’s competing teams with its office products are increasingly influencing the use, as a sign that they could open an investigation.

In a questionnaire sent to competitors and viewed by Reuters, the European Commission focuses on the period from 2016 to 2021. Microsoft introduced teams in early 2017 to compete with Slog and others in the fast-growing workplace collaboration market.

Slack, a commercial software maker acquired by Salesforce.com in July, took its grievance to commission last year over Microsoft’s Teams software.

Microsoft declined to comment, saying the EU had fined 2. 2.2 billion ($ 2.6 billion, or about Rs 19,100 crore) in so-called lawsuits and other practices in the previous decade.

Slak accused it of being illegal to build or merge groups with the office and urged the EU rival to separate the two.

It said Microsoft was pre-installing Workplace Chat, saying it would be difficult to uninstall, and that the U.S. company had refused to provide information that would allow competing products to work with teams and the office.

It prompted the Commission to ask whether packaged products provide companies with access to data that could increase their market power in both markets, while making it harder for competitors, especially those with only the product, to compete.

It has also heard about barriers to entry or expansion into the workplace application market, shifting costs to customers and the importance of user data security.

Competitors asked for a list of customers who switched to Microsoft groups or its aggregated office as a percentage of the revenue they lost as a result, as well as the impact of integrated products on investment in innovation and the quality and price of their products.

Questionnaire Covit-19 asked whether there was an increase in demand for workplace applications and how it would develop after an outbreak.

Other companies that offer workplace applications include Zoom Video Communications, Alphabet Google, Facebook and Cisco.

© Thomson Reuters 2021




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