THE Microsoft will sell the app separately Teamsdisconnecting her from the Office internationally, the American technology giant announced on Monday, six months after it made the move in Europe, then trying to avoid possible sanctions under the European Union’s antitrust policy.

The Commission had launched an investigation into Microsoft’s decision to link Office with Teams when a complaint was lodged by Slack, competitive workplace messaging app.

Teams, which was added to Office 365 for free in 2017, eventually replaced Skype for Business and became especially popular during the pandemic, in part because of its ability to hold video conferences.

Competing applications, however, argued that combining the two products into one package gave Microsoft a leg up an unfair advantage. The company started making the two products available separately in the European Union and Switzerland from October 1, 2023.

“In order to offer a clear picture to our customers, we are expanding internationally the measures we took last year, disconnecting Teams from M365 and O365 in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland,” the company announced. “This move also responds to comments from the European Commission, providing multinational companies with greater flexibility when they wish to standardize their purchases in different geographic areas.”

Microsoft announced in a company blog post that it will introduce a new range of commercial editions of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 that will not include Teams in regions outside the EEA and Switzerland, and there will also be a new, standalone version of Teams for business use in those the regions.
From Monday 1 April, customers can either continue with their existing package, renew it, modify it or switch to the new offers.

For new business customers, prices for Office without Teams range from $7.75 to $54.75, depending on the product, while Teams Standalone will cost $5.25. These prices may vary by country and currency. The company did not announce prices for the existing, consolidated products.

However, Microsoft’s decision to disconnect these products may not prove to be enough in order to avoid antitrust charges, which the EU is likely to address to the company in the coming months, as competing companies criticize the amount of fees and the ease of combining their own applications with Office Web Applications in their own services, according to journalistic sources.

Microsoft, which has been fined €2.2 billion by the EU for antitrust practices over the past decade when it tried to market bundles of two or more products, risks a fine that could be as high as 10% of of its worldwide annual revenues, if found guilty of a violation of the antitrust framework, as applicable in the Union.