Global tech corporation Microsoft has announced that it will no longer offer Teams as part of its 365 bundle to enterprise customers in Europe. This move aims to pacify European Union (EU) regulators who are investigating the company based on possible anti-competition activities.
For context, Slack, a software company that offers a service similar to Teams, accused Microsoft of attempting to kill the competition. In a complaint filed to the European Union in July 2020, Slack accused Microsoft of offering the service alongside its popular productivity suite, Office.
By doing so, Slack argued that the decision forced millions to install the app. What’s more, they could not uninstall it if they wanted. However, it was only last month that the EU announced that it had begun an official inquiry into the matter.
Explaining why it was removing Teams from the 365 bundle, Nanna-Louise Linde, Vice President of Microsoft’s European Government Affairs, said: “Today we are announcing proactive changes that we hope will start to address these concerns in a meaningful way, even while the European Commission’s investigation continues and we cooperate with it.”
The changes, according to Linde, will affect Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites for business customers in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Further into the press statement, Linde said that the removal of Teams from the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans will commence on October 1, 2023.
Alternatively, the company will begin marketing the above suites without the Teams product. Therefore the plans will cost €2 less or €24 less monthly and yearly respectively. Upon removal from the bundles, interested clients can buy Teams as a standalone item for €5 monthly and €60 yearly.
The corporation added that current enterprise clients that already subscribed to Office suites with Teams included can opt to either retain their plan to transfer to a non-Teams bundle. These changes do not affect Microsoft’s pool of small businesses and frontline workers, though they will have a “Without-Teams” plan to choose from soon.
More on Microsoft Teams changes
Aside from the above, the corporation also made some announcements that it believed would help its chances in the ongoing case. It promised to improve extensive interoperability with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans. Essentially, this would enable the likes of Zoom and Salesforce to build personalized experiences on Teams, Outlook, and Exchange.
The corporation also pledged to unveil fresh mechanisms that will allow third-party products to host Office web applications. Finally, it said it would continue working together with the regulators on the case to reach an amicable outcome.
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