Microsoft splits Teams from Office after antitrust scrutiny

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft will stop packaging its Teams videoconferencing app with its Office software after the practice attracted antitrust scrutiny.

The tech giant said Monday that customers buying Office subscriptions starting this week won't get Teams bundled with the service. Microsoft will start selling the two products separately around the world, following a move last year to separate the products in Europe.

That was after the European Union’s executive commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top competition enforcer, opened a formal investigation over concerns that bundling Teams with Office gives the company an unfair edge over competitors.

The investigation was triggered by a complaint filed in 2020 by Slack Technologies, a maker of popular workplace messaging software.

Slack, owned by business software maker Salesforce, alleged that Microsoft was abusing its market dominance to eliminate competition — in violation of EU laws — by illegally combining Teams with its Office suite, which includes Word, Excel and Outlook.