Microsoft to face antitrust charges in Europe over Teams software dominance: report

Microsoft is reportedly facing a fresh antitrust crackdown by European regulators over its alleged use of anticompetitive tactics to boost its Teams virtual meeting software.

The European Commission, the European Union’s antitrust watchdog, is moving forward with plans to file formal antitrust charges against Microsoft, the Financial Times reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

The probe is reportedly centered on concerns that Microsoft has stifled attempts to compete with Teams by making it run more efficiently when paired with its other in-house software. Additionally, a lack of data portability for Teams users has purportedly made it difficult for customers to switch to rival services.

The charges could be announced within the next few weeks, according to the report. European Commission officials are reportedly set to meet with Microsoft’s business rivals regarding the case this week.

EU officials could file antitrust charges against Microsoft within weeks. AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft can still avoid a formal lawsuit in the EU if it can reach a settlement regarding its business practices, according to the FT. EU regulators could also decide to delay the suit or hold off from filing it entirely.

Still, the antitrust crackdown on Teams gained steam even after Microsoft made an initial round of concessions last month.

Microsoft said in April that it would sell its Teams software separately from its Office software products across its global business. The company had already confirmed last year that it would decouple the products in Europe.

Antitrust scrutiny is focused on Microsoft Teams. REUTERS

The European Commission declined to comment on the FT’s report.

Microsoft also declined to comment but pointed to an earlier statement in which the company said it would “continue to engage with the commission, listen to concerns in the marketplace, and remain open to exploring pragmatic solutions that benefit both customers and developers in Europe.”

Microsoft and other Big Tech giants are facing increased scrutiny from antitrust regulators, both in the US and abroad.

The company also faces a separate European probe into its $13 billion partnership with OpenAI over potential antitrust violations.

The Justice Department has active antitrust suits against Google and Apple. Elsewhere, the Federal Trade Commission has targeted Amazon and Instagram parent Meta.