Slack has filed a complaint with the European Commission that accuses Microsoft of unfairly bundling its Teams collaboration app with its Office 365 suite. That transfer, Slack argues, permits Microsoft to abuse its market dominance to “extinguish competitors in breach of European Union competitors regulation.
“Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productiveness suite, power putting in it for tens of millions, blocking its elimination, and hiding the true price to enterprise prospects,” Slack stated.
Microsoft launched Teams three years in the past, making the group collaboration software accessible to Office 365 subscribers. Teams has 75 million each day lively customers, Microsoft stated this week, a rise of 31 million up to now month.
Slack’s app arrived in 2015 and has 12 million customers, in line with its most up-to-date stats from October 2019.
In a press release after the authorized motion was introduced, Microsoft pledged to work with the EU and stated: “We look ahead to offering extra info to the European Commission and answering any questions they could have.”
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has criticized Microsoft’s conduct on quite a few events up to now, together with claims its rival has inflated consumer figures. Although Butterfield has stated Microsoft isn’t a direct competitor, he informed The Verge in May that Microsoft is “maybe unhealthily preoccupied with killing us, and Teams is the automobile to try this.”
Slack claims that Microsoft’s transfer to push Teams adoption is paying homage to earlier antitrust battles the software program vendor has confronted.
Microsoft was accused by the European Commission of bundling its Internet Explorer net browser with its Windows working system in a 2009 case that was settled with Microsoft promising to extend entry to rival platforms. Even so, Microsoft was fined €561 million ($73s million) in 2013 when EU regulators decided that it had not met its commitments.
“Microsoft is reverting to previous conduct,” stated David Schellhase, common counsel at Slack. “They created a weak, copycat product and tied it to their dominant Office product, power putting in it and blocking its elimination, a carbon copy of their unlawful conduct throughout the ‘browser wars.’
“Slack is asking the European Commission to take swift motion to make sure Microsoft can’t proceed to illegally leverage its energy from one market to a different by bundling or tying merchandise,” Schellhase stated.
Slack stated the European Commission will now assessment the complaint and determine whether or not to open a proper investigation into Microsoft’s alleged anti-competitive practices.
For its half, Microsoft stated Teams has proved extra in style throughout the pandemic as a result of it affords videoconferencing choices that Slack does not have.
“We created Teams to mix the flexibility to collaborate with the flexibility to attach through video, as a result of that’s what folks need,” MIcrosoft stated in its assertion. “With COVID-19, the market has embraced Teams in document numbers whereas Slack suffered from its absence of video-conferencing. We’re dedicated to providing prospects not solely the most effective of recent innovation, however all kinds of selection in how they buy and use the product.”
“It’s not shocking that Slack would take this motion in the event that they really feel it has a excessive chance of success,” stated Irwin Lazar, vp and repair director at Nemertes Research. “Stuart Butterfield has stated that whereas they do not view Microsoft as direct competitors, they really feel that Microsoft is concentrated on killing them, so I’d anticipate Slack to make use of all authorized implies that they consider they will leverage to defend themselves.”
Teams, Slack and Cisco’s Webex Teams are essentially the most extensively deployed workforce collaboration apps, in line with a Nemertes Research survey. Cisco and Microsoft are deployed extra often on an enterprise-wide foundation, stated Lazar, with Slack used extra on the departmental degree.
“Slack continues to set its sights on rising into an enterprise-wide different to Microsoft Teams and so I assume they’re hopeful that success on this submitting will enable them to raised compete against Microsoft, doubtlessly eliminating the ‘Teams is free with Office 365’ arguments that we hear usually from adopters,” he stated.
Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.