Slack Technologies, the developer of the corporate messenger of the same name, filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission, accusing Microsoft of non-competitive behavior. Slack believes Microsoft is using its dominant position to distribute the competitive enterprise Teams platform alongside its widely used Office suite of applications.
According to Slack, Microsoft is forcing companies to install Teams, blocking app removal, and deliberately disabling certain types of interactions. The company is asking the European regulator to force Microsoft to sell Teams as a standalone product without tying it to an office suite.
Microsoft representatives have not yet commented on the issue. The press service of the European Commission confirmed receipt of the complaint from Slack and added that the regulator “will evaluate it according to our standard procedures“. It is worth noting that such complaints have often led to formal investigations in the past.
The situation in the collaboration software market has become particularly tense during the coronavirus pandemic, which forces tens of millions of people to perform their work duties from home. According to reports, some time ago Slack discussed the possibility of filing a complaint about Microsoft’s actions with the US regulator. However, in the end, it was decided to first apply to the European Commission, since antitrust cases against American companies are especially actively investigated in the region. In addition, the European Commission may well consider that it is a violation of competition law to distribute a separate solution together with a product with a dominant market position.
Slack’s appeal to the European Commission is yet another complaint in which large tech companies are accused of abusing their dominant market position. In the United States, control over large technology companies continues to grow. The Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the US Congress have already launched several investigations that will address various antitrust issues related to the activities of large technology companies.
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