Microsoft: Tech Giant, Splits Teams and Office around the world

Microsoft has announced the global separation of the Teams business messaging and video app from its Office software.

Last year, the firm decided to separate the two products in Europe due to concerns about potential penalties from competition regulators.

Teams was introduced to Office in 2017. The European Commission has been looking into the matter following a complaint from competitor Slack last year.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the decision has been made in order to provide clear information to their customers.

It also takes into account feedback from the European Commission by offering multinational companies greater flexibility in their efforts to standardize purchasing across different regions, they noted.

According to a recent blogpost by Microsoft, new customers can now purchase Teams Standalone for $5.25 (£4.20).

It remains uncertain if the company’s move to separate Teams from Office will be sufficient to evade potential antitrust charges from the European Union (EU).

In the last decade, Microsoft has accumulated a hefty sum of 2.2 billion euros ($2.4bn; £1.9bn) in EU antitrust fines due to the practice of combining or bundling multiple products.

If proven to have violated antitrust regulations, it faces the possibility of a significant fine, potentially amounting to 10% of its worldwide annual revenue.

In 1998, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging that the company had utilized its control over the Windows platform to hinder competition from other web browsers.

The company has relaxed its grip on the software choices available to computer manufacturers, leading to the rise in popularity of competing internet browsers.

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Following its separation from the Microsoft 365 and Office Suites in Europe last October, the Teams platform experienced minimal fluctuations in its user base, as reported by market intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

According to data from Reuters, the number of monthly active users of the Microsoft Teams mobile app did not change in the first three months of 2024, staying the same as the previous quarter.

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