Slack files antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the EU

nanoguy

Posts: 517   +7
Staff member
A hot potato: Big tech companies including Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google have been under a ton of antitrust scrutiny as of late, with Microsoft surprisingly being the one that had managed to stay under the radar. That may start to change, with Slack accusing the Redmond giant that it is boosting adoption for its competitor work chat app by forcing it onto Office 365 customers.

Slack has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the European Union, alleging the latter company is stifling competition with unfair practices such as bundling its collaboration app, Teams, with its Office productivity suite.

In the complaint, Slack alludes to the way Microsoft did things with Internet Explorer, a web browser that achieved incredible adoption numbers by virtue of being bundled with the Windows operating system. Slack believes that Teams is being forced onto Office 365 customers, who are seemingly unaware of the added cost and don't have the option to remove it.

Last May, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield insisted that Microsoft Teams is not a competitor to Slack and that Microsoft baking it into its productivity suite was a move made in frustration over low adoption numbers. Now that teleconferencing apps have seen a surge in demand, that position has changed to acknowledge that Teams and Slack do have some similarities in terms of their overall scope.

In a statement today, Slack VP of Communications and Policy Jonathan Prince explained that "Slack threatens Microsoft’s hold on business email, the cornerstone of Office, which means Slack threatens Microsoft’s lock on enterprise software."

He also noted that Microsoft wants to dominate their customers' entire software stack, while Slack is designed as a piece of the puzzle that organizations can use as part of their custom mix of productivity tools.

The European Commission will now review the antitrust complaint to decide on whether an investigation is in order. But while Slack is asking the EU to level the playing field, the complaint comes at a time when the two companies are fighting to dominate the future of workplace collaboration. To see that, look no further than Slack's recent partnerships with IBM and Amazon, its largest customers to date.

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OneSpeed

Posts: 389   +192
Slack kinda slacked off and became complacent. Slack had a lot more installs than MS when it came to their collaboration software, but Microsoft's aggressive tactics make Slack run to the courts. You need an Enterprise license and pay for it, so I don't see how Microsoft is resorting to the "old ways".
 
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aMerkuri

Posts: 58   +19
Company I work for is migrating from Skype for Business to Teams. I believe many enterprise companies will do the same.
 

Lounds

Posts: 487   +367
Clearly Slack doesn't like how quickly Microsoft's growth of teams during the pandemic. A lot of organisations and education establishments have used Teams during this period, but that's because a lot of these organisations already pay for Teams they just haven't used it before. Teams is better in the sense it links with everything else in office 365.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 1,914   +605
Clearly Slack doesn't like how quickly Microsoft's growth of teams during the pandemic. A lot of organisations and education establishments have used Teams during this period, but that's because a lot of these organisations already pay for Teams they just haven't used it before. Teams is better in the sense it links with everything else in office 365.
This is our case as well. We use 365 for our business emails but nothing more. We then use Google Docs/Sheets for collaboration (sometimes Word) and Slack/Basecamp for communication. That's a lot of expenses spread across multiple systems when it can be all narrowed down to just 365. That said, I find the 365 platform clunky at times and slow.