The European Union is currently surveying competitors of Microsoft Teams. A sign that a competition lawsuit may be coming.
According to Reuters, questionnaires have been sent to Teams competitors. Europe also wants to know whether the integration of Teams in Microsoft Office gives the former more weight in the market.
The complaint came from Slack, today owned by Salesforce, which believes bundling Teams with Office is illegal. For example, Teams would be installed automatically, it is difficult to remove, and Microsoft refuses to provide information to let rival products work with Teams and Office.
Such a questionnaire does not, by definition, lead to a competition case. Still, it is often the precursor to which the EU determines whether a certain player is abusing its position in relation to competitors.
The questionnaire specifically looks at the period 2016 to 2021. Teams came on the market in 2017.
Furthermore, Europe also asks whether bundling products provides companies with data showing their market strength in both market segments. That makes it more difficult for other players, specifically for those who mainly focus on one product.
It also wants to know whether the corona crisis increased the demand for workplace apps.