A new antitrust investigation into Microsoft is likely to be opened in the European Union in the coming months – the measures taken by the company following previous inspections were not enough to restore a healthy competitive environment, the company writes Reuters citing their own sources.
Over the past decade, Microsoft has been fined €2.2 billion in the EU for violating competition rules in the region. One of the violations was the implementation of software packages, a practice that drew the attention of local authorities after a complaint from Salesforce, which owns the company’s messenger Slack. In 2017, Microsoft added its own Teams messenger to Office 365 without a price increase – the product eventually becoming the replacement for Skype for Business. The Slack administration called this practice unfair.
Last year, Microsoft began consultations with the European Commission to prevent a full investigation. The company recently offered to lower the price of the Office suite without the Teams app, but according to Reuters sources, European authorities expected the price difference between the two versions of the suites to be larger.
If the review of Microsoft’s actions reveals that the company has violated European antitrust law, it can face a fine of up to 10% of global annual sales. Pending a full investigation, Microsoft still has the option to offer the European Commission other forms of compensation for the consequences of its actions.