Microsoft To Separate Teams From Office Software Product

Going forward, Microsoft (MSFT) plans to sell its chat and video conference app Teams separate from its Office software product as it tries to avoid an antitrust fine in Europe.

The European Commission has been investigating Microsoft’s bundled Office and Teams product since 2020.

Teams was first added to Office 365 in 2017 for free and then became extremely popular during the Covid-19 pandemic due to its video conference function.

However, competitors have complained that packaging the two products together gives Microsoft an unfair advantage.

As a result, Microsoft announced last autumn that it would start selling the two products separately throughout the European Union and Switzerland.

Now, Microsoft is expanding the separation of Teams and Office globally to include other jurisdictions such as North America and Asia.

However, analysts don’t seem to expect the unbundling of Teams and Office to have a big impact.

After Microsoft Teams was removed from Microsoft 365 and Office in Europe last fall, the platform has seen its user base remain largely unchanged, according to industry data.

It’s not clear if decoupling Teams from Office will be enough to prevent Microsoft from being fined by the European Commission.

Over the last decade, Microsoft has received $2.4 billion U.S. in European antitrust fines for tying or bundling two or more products together.

The stock of Microsoft has risen 48% over the last 12 months to trade at $424.57 U.S. per share.

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