A new report claims that Microsoft may decide to unbundle its Teams online conferencing tools from its larger Office products. The report claims that this move is being made to avoid a full investigation of Teams and Office by the European Union over anti-trust grounds.
The dispute first started in 2020, when rival online conferencing company Slack filed a formal complaint to the European Commission regulatory agency. Slack claimed that Microsoft's decision to bundle its Teams product as part of the Microsoft 365 suite, which includes its Office apps, was a way to force Teams to be installed on PCs. Slack claimed this move was "illegal and anti-competitive". In November 2022, it was reported that the EU was going to start a formal investigation into this matter.
Now, the Financial Times (via Engadget) is reporting via unnamed sources that Microsoft has agreed to release Teams and sell it with or without Microsoft 365. However, the article stated that there are still discussions on how exactly this will be done and that a final solution has not yet been agreed upon.
While Microsoft did not confirm the report, it did send a statement to the Financial Times, stating in part that it will "continue to engage cooperatively with the Commission in its investigation" and that the company is "open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns."