Slack makes EU antitrust claim against Microsoft over Teams
The job messaging platform Slack has filed an antitrust claim against Microsoft, stating that rival app from technology giant Teams has an unfair advantage.
Slack said that grouping Microsoft teams within Office 365 software was “illegal and anti-competitive practice” and that the technology giant “was abusing its dominance on the market.”
The complaint will now be examined by the European Commission.
Microsoft has stated that it provides information to the EC.
“We created teams to combine the ability to collaborate with the ability to connect via video, because that’s what people want,” said a spokesman.
“With Covid-19, the market has embraced Teams in record numbers, while Slack has suffered from the absence of video conferencing. We are committed to offering customers not only the best of new innovations, but a wide variety of purchasing opportunities and use the product. “
“We look forward to providing further information to the European Commission and answering any questions they may have.”
Slack claimed that he was seeking a “level playing field” and suggested that by offering teams to Office 365 users, Microsoft was making it more difficult for Slack to sell its software on the market.
“We want to be 2% of the software budget which makes the other 98% more valuable; they want 100% of your budget every time, “said Jonathan Prince, Slack’s vice president of communications and politics.
With millions of additional employees working from home during the pandemic, the rivalry over technology that makes remote work possible has deepened.
Microsoft Teams users have gone from 44 million in March to 75 million in April and Slack has also experienced a strong increase in users in recent months, reaching 12.5 million at the end of March.
The antitrust claim contrasts with the comments made by Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield in May when he told CNBC: “What we’ve seen in the past two months is that Teams is not a Slack competitor.”
He went on to mention the fact that Microsoft groups Teams with Office 365 and claimed that the growth of Teams users over the past three years has not been impressive.
“They still only have 29%, which means 71% of [Office 365] users said “No thanks”. “