Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) has filed a complaint against Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) in The EU accusing it of forcing Office users to install Teams software.
Microsoft under the spotlight for uncompetitive behaviour
This move comes as several other big US tech giants face antitrust scrutiny from the European Commission of using their dominance to abuse competition. EU authorities have criticized big tech firms such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) over antitrust issues, and for long Microsoft has been dodging the scrutiny until now.
The workplace communications solutions provider filed a complaint to the European Commission which is the competition regulator of the EU. The windows maker is being accused of snuffing competition in the push to workplace collaboration solutions by tying the Teams software to the Office 365 productivity suite. Slack alleges that Microsoft is forcing Office 365 users to install the Teams software and it blocks its removal which makes interoperability impossible. Slack wants the EU to compel Microsoft to sell the Teams software on its own as a product instead of bundling it with the Office 365 suite.
Microsoft offers video conferencing through Teams unlike Slack
In response to the allegation, a spokesperson of Microsoft indicated that they created Teams to help people with the ability to collaborate and connect through video. The spokesperson added that with the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an upsurge in adoption of Teams software while Slack suffered because of the lack of video conferencing. Microsoft is committed to offering customers the best innovations as well as a variety of alternatives in how they can buy and use their products.
The EU Competition Commission confirmed receipt of the complaint and a spokesperson indicated in a statement that they will assess the accusation as per the set standard procedures. The complaint comes after Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said recently that Microsoft was preoccupied in killing them with the Teams solution. In a filing to the SEC Slack has named Microsoft as its main competitor and both saw massive adoption of their solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.