Slack, the workplace instant messaging platform has finally done what they had warned to do for a long time ago. They have filed an antitrust complaint with European Commission against Microsoft Teams with Office 365.
A spokeswoman from the Commission has confirmed the receipt of the complaint via email, stating that they have received the complaint and will assess it under their standard procedures.
Slack CEO accuses Redmond-based software giant of unfairly tying their two competent products
Slack CEO, Steward Butterfield has accused Microsoft of illegally abusing its market strengths and tying their two most competent products i.e Teams to its dominant enterprise suite, Microsoft 365. They said that this illegal tie-up has resulted in force installation for millions of users, blocking its removal and further hiding its true cost to enterprise customers.
Butterfield insisted that this complaint has been made from a position of strength. He stated that Teams was announced 3 years back and since then their company had grown>500% and lost 0% of its largest customers. They have continued to win the biggest companies in the world. The market leaders have chosen Slack, not Teams.
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Also, as per the Slack CEO, Microsoft Teams is not competitive with Slack since Teams is portrayed mostly as a video conferencing platform while Slack is a channel-based communication medium designed to replace email.
Microsoft and Slack at odds, since 2016
This complaint by Slack has not come as a surprise to many since both the companies have been at odds for years since Microsoft had announced its Teams product back in 2016. At that time, Slack had mocked Microsoft in a newspaper advertisement, welcoming the competition. In the following years, Microsoft’s Teams product grew to a legitimate competitor.
Recently, Teams announced that it had achieved a user base of 75 million daily active users (DAU) in April 2020, gain from a March number of 44 million DAUs. Also, both Microsoft and Slack have gained from being a remote-work friendly product and have increased their activity in the wake of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic disruption.
Slack’s antitrust complaint, good for business
Whether one agrees with Slack’s antitrust complaint, the move is likely good for business. Recently, Slack’s shared dropped, after its earnings report failed to meet the investor’s expectations. If Microsoft’s Teams product is slowing the business down for Slack, heading the software giant off in a government interference direction will help the business appear savvy.
Although the actual case will be litigated in front of the European Commission, considering a slow process, it can be fairly said that most customers would have already decided which product is far more useful for enterprise collaboration.