E.U. Charges Microsoft With Antitrust Violations Over Teams Bundling

Introduction

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E.U. Charges Microsoft With Antitrust Violations Over Teams Bundling
E.U. Charges Microsoft With Antitrust Violations Over Teams Bundling

Regulators said businesses essentially had little choice but to take Teams if they wanted other software made by Microsoft.

E.U. regulators said Microsoft had an unfair “distribution advantage” by not giving customers a choice of whether to buy Teams when purchasing other software. Rivals makers of videoconferencing tools also face challenges making their services work with other Microsoft software, regulators said.

“The conduct may have prevented Teams’ rivals from competing, and in turn innovating, to the detriment of customers,” the European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch conducting the investigation, said in a statement.

The charges brought on Tuesday are one step in a long process.

On Tuesday, Microsoft said it had taken steps to resolve the dispute. Last year, Microsoft agreed to sell Teams separately from Office products. “Having unbundled Teams and taken initial interoperability steps, we appreciate the additional clarity provided today and will work to find solutions to address the commission‘s remaining concerns.”

Ford to recall more than 550,000 vehicles, US safety regulator says

vehicles, including two injury reports and one crash that may be related to the recall issue.

NHTSA said one owner said he “experienced an

unexpected downshift causing his vehicle to crash into a concrete barrier and another vehicle, injuring both

him and the driver of the other vehicle.”

reports remains lower for 2014 vehicles than the 2011-2013 F-150 vehicles previously recalled.

Nvidia, Microsoft and OpenAI facing antitrust probes, says report

The US Federal Trade Commission upped the ante in January of this year, issuing orders to five companies, including Microsoft and OpenAI, requiring them to provide information about their recent investments in generative AI companies and major cloud service providers. Google parent Alphabet, Amazon, and Anthropic, developer of the generative AI tool Claude, were also under the microscope.

Nvidia did not escape notice either. It said in its latest quarterly report, “Our position in markets relating to AI has led to increased interest in our business from regulators worldwide.” It cited requests for information about its business activities around AI from regulators in the EU, the UK, and China, specifically highlighting the French Competition Authority’s “collection of information”, and noted, “We expect to receive additional requests for information in the future.”

Conclusion

In a February 2024 interview in Harvard Law Today, FTC chair Lisa Khan said that that the reason for investigations such as these is not to stifle business growth, but to curtail illegal behavior. “We really want to make sure that the opportunity for competition and the potential for disruption is preserved, rather than this moment being co-opted by some of the existing dominant firms to double down on their dominance,” she said.

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