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Slack files antitrust complaint against Microsoft

The messaging platform says it wants a level playing field

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Photo (c) lcva2 - Getty Images
Slack has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission, accusing it of abusing its power by integrating a competing Teams product with its cloud-based productivity suite. 

“Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force installing it for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the true cost to enterprise customers,” Slack said in a statement.

The workplace instant messaging platform added that it “can’t ignore illegal behavior that deprives customers of access to the tools and solutions they want.” Slack executives said they’re asking the EU “to ensure Microsoft cannot continue to illegally leverage its power from one market to another by bundling or tying products.”

In comments to the Financial Times, Slack said it wants Microsoft to be forced to sell Teams separately to Microsoft 365 customers. But the issue is much bigger than Slack versus Microsoft, said Jonathan Prince, Vice President of Communications and Policy at Slack. 

“Slack simply wants fair competition and a level playing field. Healthy competition drives innovation and creates the best products and the most choice for customers. Competition and antitrust laws are designed to ensure that dominant companies are not allowed to foreclose competition illegally,” Prince said in a blog post.

Slack officials said they’re asking the EU to “be a neutral referee, examine the facts, and enforce the law.” 

“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,” said David Schellhase, General Counsel at Slack. 

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