Exclusive: EU antitrust watchdogs step up Microsoft probe, probe likely sources

BRUSSELS, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Microsoft ( MSFT.O ) is likely to face an EU cartel probe as regulators intensify their probe into its practices in a case sparked by Salesforce.com’s ( CRM.N ) workspace messaging- app Slack, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Last year, Slack complained to the European Commission, saying Microsoft unfairly integrated its workplace chat and video app Teams into its Office product. Microsoft introduced Teams in 2017 to seek a piece of the fast-growing and lucrative workplace collaboration market.

Slack called on EU competition enforcers to order the US software giant to separate Teams from Office Suit and sell it separately at reasonable commercial prices.

The commission last month sent out another batch of questionnaires as a follow-up to those sent out last October, a sign that the EU’s competition watchdog is preparing grounds to open a formal investigation, the people said.

“The commission is looking at (Microsoft’s) interoperability and bundling, but in more detail this time. They are looking for information that will enable them to define solutions,” one of the people said.

“They are preparing the ground for an investigation,” said another person.

The commission and Microsoft, which has been fined 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) for cases involving so-called tying and other practices over the past decade, declined to comment.

($1 = 0.9612 euros)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Mark Potter

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *