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Microsoft unbundles Teams worldwide after antitrust scrutiny

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Washington, United States—Microsoft will unbundle its Teams platform from its popular Office suite around the world, expanding a policy it had implemented in Europe to assuage EU antitrust concerns, the company said Monday.

The European Commission launched an investigation last year to see whether the US tech giant was “abusing and defending its market position” by bundling the software together.

In a bid to address the concerns, Microsoft unbundled Teams from its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites in the European Economic Area and Switzerland from October 1.

“To ensure clarity for our customers, we are extending the steps we took last year to unbundle Teams from M365 and O365 in the European Economic Area and Switzerland to customers globally,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement.

“Doing so also addresses feedback from the European Commission by providing multinational companies more flexibility when they want to standardize their purchasing” across regions, the spokesperson added.

Microsoft has bundled Teams with its cloud-based Office 365 and Microsoft 365 suites, which include its popular Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs.

Teams is a platform that allows users to communicate through messages, video calls and file sharing. It became popular during the coronavirus pandemic when workers were often isolated from each other.

The trigger for the commission’s probe was a July 2020 complaint from Slack, a US startup competitor to Teams that has since been bought by the company Salesforce.

The commission had also expressed concerns that Microsoft may have limited interoperability with rival products.

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