The online collaboration platform has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission, claiming that the software giant abuses its position to promote Teams unfairly.
If found guilty, Microsoft could face a large fine, and may even be forced to offer Teams as a standalone product, potentially putting it at a significant disadvantage in what has become one of the most tightly-contested areas in the software industry.
Slack vs Microsoft Teams
According to Slack, the fact that Microsoft Teams comes bundled with the company’s Office suite of products but it at a major advantage, leaving competitors struggling to keep up.
Slack also noted that in some cases, Microsoft attempts to block any efforts to remove or uninstall Teams, and also doesn’t display the real cost of the service to customers.
“We’re confident that we win on the merits of our product, but we can’t ignore illegal behavior that deprives customers of access to the tools and solutions they want,” Jonathan Prince, Vice President of Communications and Policy at Slack, said in a statement.
“Slack threatens Microsoft’s hold on business email, the cornerstone of Office, which means Slack threatens Microsoft’s lock on enterprise software.”
Prince noted that Slack is simply asking for fairness to allow for proper consumer choice and level competition. stating, “Slack is asking the European Commission to take swift action to ensure Microsoft cannot continue to illegally leverage its power from one market to another by bundling or tying products.”
Referencing past cases where Microsoft has also faced lawsuits, Prince did not hold back in his criticism of the company, saying, ““Microsoft is reverting to past behavior – they created a weak, copycat product and tied it to their dominant Office product, force installing it and blocking its removal, a carbon copy of their illegal behavior during the ‘browser wars.’”
The news comes shortly after Microsoft Teams added a raft of new features as it looks to stay ahead of the competition.
The company recently unveiled a new “personal life” version of the app that looks to alter the perception of Teams just being a workplace platform. Although still lagging behind market leader Zoom, Microsoft Teams still enjoys a healthy user base across the world, with the company recently revealing it has topped 75 million active daily users.