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22 Jul, 2020 19:33

‘Copycat product’: Slack says Microsoft is breaking antitrust laws by bundling Teams software into Office suite

‘Copycat product’: Slack says Microsoft is breaking antitrust laws by bundling Teams software into Office suite

Slack has filed a competition complaint before the European Commission against tech giant Microsoft, accusing the company of “anti-competitive practice” and “abusing its market dominance.”

Slack, the internal work communication tool, said on Wednesday that Microsoft’s “illegal” behavior was designed to “extinguish competition” and was in breach of European Union law.

In particular, Slack took issue with the bundling of Microsoft’s rival service, Teams, into the “market-dominant” Microsoft Office productivity suite, “force installing it for millions” and “blocking its removal.”

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Microsoft Office is one of the most ubiquitous service packages that comes preinstalled on computer systems today, and it is often not able to be removed. As of 2018, Microsoft Office had 155 million businesses using the software. Slack’s statement called Office a “weak, copycat product.”

Although “confident” in its product, Slack Vice President of Communications and Policy Jonathan Prince said in the statement that the company could not “ignore illegal behavior.”

“Slack threatens Microsoft’s hold on business email, the cornerstone of Office, which means Slack threatens Microsoft’s lock on enterprise software,” Prince added.

In its statement, Slack said it just “wants fair competition and a level playing field,” and that this was not about two different companies but “a proxy for two very different philosophies for the future of digital ecosystems.”

The European Commission will now review Slack’s complaint and decide whether or not it warrants an investigation into Microsoft’s practices. 

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