Teams to be unbundled from Microsoft 365 | EU antitrust probe
To avoid an EU antitrust fine, Microsoft has announced it will be unbundling Microsoft Teams from the Microsoft Office package of products. This is to avoid competition concerns raised by the EU competition enforcer.
Teams was added to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) for free in 2017, along with other popular apps like SharePoint. It was added to provide chat and video conferencing for the M365 suite and has seen a huge surge in users in recent years. This surge is largely due to the covid-19 pandemic and the shift in working behaviours, that saw staff around the world adapting to hybrid working. This shift caused an influx of people using chat and video software to collaborate with colleagues. Apps like Zoom quickly benefitted from this and saw record breaking usage during the pandemic. Microsoft quickly realised this trend and ramped up it’s efforts to make Teams the go-to app for staff collaborating from home. The Teams app (which replaced Skype as the Microsoft chat and video app), was already being pushed to the forefront of the Microsoft suite by Microsoft, but this sped up the process.
This spike in users has already caused some of Microsoft’s competitors to complain to the EU regulation body, including Slack, who opened a formal complaint about three years ago. These complaints caused the European Commission to launch an investigation into how Microsoft is using products to influence users online habits. The European Commission gave a statement announcing they felt that Microsoft might be “abusing and defending its market dominance in productivity software, by restricting competition”. Microsoft has now responded with the news that it will unbundle Teams from the other Microsoft Office products, as an attempt to appear more compliant. This change will take affect from 1st October and the removal of the Teams app from the M365 bundle will affect users in the EU and Switzerland.
Also, this change may affect your company in ways you are unaware of, because of the way Teams and SharePoint are integrated with each other. If you didn’t already know, Teams and SharePoint work hand-in hand and everything that is shared within Teams, is stored in SharePoint in the background.
If you are concerned about how this change might affect your SharePoint setup. Please contact us for some free, expert advice.
Fortunately for M365 users in the EU and Switzerland, Microsoft Teams will still be available as a standalone app for 5 euros per month, or 60 euros per year. But will no longer be available for free as part of Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365. Other regions including the UK and USA will not be affected by the change.