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EU Is Asking Microsoft Rivals if Groups Integrating in Workplace Is Problematic

EU antitrust regulators are following up on a criticism by Slack Applied sciences by asking Microsoft’s rivals if its Groups app built-in with its Workplace product offers it better clout, in an indication that they might open an investigation.

In a questionnaire despatched to rivals and seen by Reuters, the European Fee is specializing in the interval 2016 to 2021. Microsoft launched Groups in early 2017 to compete with Slack and others within the fast-growing office collaboration market.

Slack, purchased by enterprise software program maker in July, took its grievance over Microsoft’s Groups software program to the Fee final 12 months.

Microsoft, which has been handed EUR 2.2 billion ($2.6 billion or roughly Rs. 19,100 crores) in EU fines for instances involving so-called tying and different practices in earlier decade, declined to remark.

Slack alleged that tying or bundling Groups with Workplace was unlawful and urged the EU competitors company to separate the 2.

It mentioned Microsoft pre-installs the office chat, it was troublesome to uninstall and that the US firm refused to supply data which might enable rival merchandise to work with Groups and Workplace.

This has prompted the Fee to ask if bundled merchandise give corporations entry to knowledge that will enhance their market energy in each markets and on the identical time make it tougher for rivals, specifically these with solely product, to compete.

It has additionally requested about limitations to entry or enlargement within the office apps market, switching prices for patrons and the significance of person knowledge safety.

Rivals had been requested for a listing of shoppers who’ve switched to Microsoft Groups or its bundled Workplace, the share of income they’d misplaced in consequence, in addition to the affect of the built-in merchandise on their investments in innovation and the standard and worth of their merchandise.

The questionnaire requested if the COVID-19 had boosted demand for office apps and the way this can evolve post-pandemic.

Different corporations which offer office apps embody Zoom Video Communications, Alphabet’s Google, Fb, and Cisco.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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