September 21, 2023
EU Competitors Commissioner Margrethe Vestager

Citing a number of sources, Reuters right this moment reported that the antitrust regulators within the EU’s European Fee plan to quickly launch a proper antitrust investigation of Microsoft Workplace as a result of treatment discussions with the software program big broke down.

The EU’s preliminary investigation was triggered by Slack, which filed a contest grievance in 2020, alleging that was abusing its market dominance utilizing unlawful and anti-competitive enterprise practices, together with by tying Microsoft Groups to its “dominant Workplace product” and blocking its removing, a “carbon copy” of its “unlawful conduct through the ‘browser wars.’”

I’ve some opinions about this case. However with a number of antitrust woes within the EU—the European Fee is investigating Azure, and it beforehand investigated, however allowed, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard—the software program big moved shortly to placate the regulators. And in April, we realized that Microsoft provided to cease bundling Groups with Workplace, although the brand new Reuters report notes that the agency really simply provided to promote Workplace for much less in model during which Groups wasn’t bundled.

In accordance with the report, the EU was searching for a deeper worth lower than Microsoft was keen to make. And now that the 2 sides can’t attain an settlement, it appears just like the EU can be providing up its personal options to this drawback. However a Microsoft spokesperson instructed that every one isn’t misplaced and that the 2 sides might nonetheless line up.

“We proceed to interact cooperatively with the [European] Fee in its investigation and are open to pragmatic options that handle its considerations and serve prospects nicely,” they stated.