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Microsoft Separates Teams and Office Worldwide After EU Rules

Microsoft divides Teams from Office globally in response to EU regulator concerns, aiming for fairness in the tech market
April 1, 2024

Microsoft is splitting its Teams app from its Office suite worldwide. This change comes after they did the same in Europe six months ago to avoid a potential fine from EU regulators. The European Commission started looking into Microsoft's practice of selling Office and Teams together after a complaint from Slack, which is owned by Salesforce, in 2020.

Teams, which was added for free to Office 365 in 2017, replaced Skype for Business and became very popular, especially for video meetings during the pandemic. However, competitors have argued that bundling Teams with Office gives Microsoft an unfair advantage. Starting from August 31 last year, Microsoft began offering these products separately in the EU and Switzerland.

Now, Microsoft is making this change globally. They said this is to make things clearer for customers and to respond to feedback from the European Commission. This gives companies more options for their purchases worldwide.

Microsoft also announced new commercial Microsoft 365 and Office 365 bundles without Teams for places outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. They're introducing a standalone Teams option for Enterprise customers in these regions too. From April 1, customers can stick with their current deals or switch to these new offers. Office without Teams will cost between $7.75 and $54.75, while standalone Teams will be $5.25. Prices will vary by country.

Despite these changes, Microsoft might still face antitrust charges from the EU, as rivals are concerned about the fees for these standalone products and how well they work with other services. Microsoft has paid €2.2 billion ($2.4 billion) in EU fines over the last ten years for similar issues. If found guilty of antitrust breaches again, they could face a huge fine.

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