Microsoft reduces the price of the Office 365 application package.
Microsoft has announced a cheaper subscription option for its Office 365 suite in the European Economic Area in an apparent attempt to satisfy EU antitrust regulators.
Starting in October, corporate customers in the region can obtain Office 365 without the Teams communication platform for $2.17 less per month.
The move comes after the European Commission formally investigated whether Microsoft illegally leverages its dominance by bundling Teams into Office 365 plans.
Critics argue this gives Teams an unfair advantage over rivals like Slack. The probe originated from a 2020 complaint by Slack, now part of Salesforce.
Under the new option, existing Office 365 customers can keep their current subscription or switch to the Teams-excluded version. Microsoft also vowed to improve interoperability between its apps and competing services.
The concessions follow months of failed negotiations with regulators. Microsoft had initially offered to stop auto-installing Teams for Office users.
But the Commission demanded this apply globally. It argued Microsoft’s proposal did not adequately address threats to competition in the office communication market.
With Teams booming during the pandemic alongside remote work, Microsoft faces intense European scrutiny over its competitive practices. The cheaper Office 365 option indicates an attempt to appease regulators and avoid a costly antitrust penalty.
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