Here's Why Microsoft Is Separating Teams From the Rest of the Office Suite

Microsoft stated on Monday that it will separate Teams from the rest of its Office suite. According to a report exclusive to Reuters, the tech giant will unbundle the two products in a possible effort to avoid antitrust fines.

The global move arrived six months after Microsoft pushed Teams out of its Office product in Europe. The European Commission has been looking into the Teams and Office bundle since 2020 when Microsoft competitor Slack filed an antitrust complaint.

Microsoft linked Teams to its “dominant Office product, force installing it and blocking its removal,” David Schellhase, general counsel at Slack, claimed to The Verge at the time.

A screen shows a virtual meeting with Microsoft Teams at ISE 2024. Photo by Cesc Maymo/Getty Images

Microsoft responded to the complaint by “proactively” unbundling Teams from Office in the EU to “support a healthy competitive environment,” according to an August blog post from the company.

Sensor Tower data cited by Reuters found that the size of the Microsoft Teams userbase in the area has stayed mostly the same since then.

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The global move announced today expands on what Microsoft started to do last year in the EU, per a Microsoft spokesperson’s statement to Reuters.

Microsoft has had to pay hefty fines over antitrust issues to the EU before, from the record $1.4 billion the company was forced to pay in 2004 to the $732 million it paid in 2013.

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