Starting next October 2, Microsoft will stop marketing in the European Union Microsoft 365 and Office 365 for companies with integrated Teams. Since then, those who prefer to subscribe to either of these two company packages without the Teams collaboration tool will have the opportunity to do so, also at a cheaper price. Those who do want to contract the use of the tool can also do so by adding the subscription to Teams to that of the chosen package.
With this step, the company wants to prevent the EU competition authorities from taking further action against Microsoft, in the framework of a formal investigation for anti-competitive practices opened in the region for integrating its Teams software with its Office productivity suite. .
This started after Slack filed a complaint in June 2020 for anti-competitive behavior against Microsoft with the European Commission. In it, those responsible for Slack pointed out that. Microsoft had illegally tied its Teams product to Office, forcing its installation and making it difficult to remove.
With this step, business customers in EU member countries will be able to subscribe to Teams independently of the software packages offered. The individual subscription to Teams will cost 5 euros per month or 50 euros per year. As for subscriptions to Microsoft 365 and Office 365, they will reduce their price in the region by two euros per month. That is, 24 euros per year.
These new packs will only affect new subscribers, and business users of both packs will be able to continue renewing their subscriptions as they have been configured up to now, with Teams. They will also be able to add new accounts to their packages for more employees, or reduce their number, according to their needs and preferences. They will also be able to switch to the new plans without Teams.
Of course, the changes will mainly affect the subscription plans of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 for large companies. Microsoft will continue to offer Themes in its Microsoft 365 packages for SMBs. It will also offer packages without Teams, at one euro less per month in its basic plan, and two euros less in its standard Business and Premium plans.
In addition to this measure, the Redmonds are also planning to improve their documentation on the interoperability of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 with some of their rivals, such as Zoom and Slack, so that they can be more easily integrated into Exchange, Outlook or Teams. The company will also allow its competitors to host office web applications in the apps that compete with their apps, in the same way that Microsoft does in Teams.
Once this measure has been taken, the company will have to wait for the decision of the EU regulators, who will assess whether removing Teams from the office automation packages that it offers by subscription to its clients is enough to not continue with its investigation.
Nanna-Louise Linde, Microsoft vice president for European government affairsexpect these changes “start addressing these concerns in a substantive way, even as the Commission’s investigation continues and we cooperate with it. These changes will affect our Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites for business customers in the European Economic Area, and also in. Swiss. We believe that these changes balance the interests of our competition with those of European business customers, offering them access to the best possible solutions at competitive prices. We also recognize that we are still in the early stages of the formal investigation by the European Commission. We will continue to interact with the commission, listening to market concerns, and open to exploring pragmatic solutions that benefit both customers and developers in Europe.«.