July 27, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Coalition for Fair Software (CFSL) Executive Director Ryan Triplette released the following statement in response to the European Commission’s investigation into Microsoft’s tying of Teams with Office 365 and Microsoft 365.
“Microsoft is leveraging its dominant desktop and productivity products to compel the adoption of not only Teams, but its other products offered throughout the cloud stack – including ActiveDirectory, Azure, OneDrive, and Defender. The E.U.’s announcement is an important first step, but this behavior extends well beyond Teams.
“As we outlined in our recent submission to the FTC, our members experience the same anticompetitive behavior in the cloud as the software giant uses its Microsoft 365 suite to drive up costs and limit customer choice. This is Microsoft’s playbook–leveraging its monopoly power in one market to distort competition in another.
“We applaud the European Commission for launching a formal investigation into Microsoft’s anticompetitive behavior. We encourage the FTC to investigate the company’s restrictive licensing and tying practices as well as their implications for customers.”
The Coalition previously released a statement in response to reports that Microsoft was planning to unbundle Teams and Office in an attempt to avoid growing legal scrutiny in the European Union.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the business practices in cloud computing that could impact competition and data security. In its public comment, the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing requested that the FTC open an investigation into Microsoft’s software licensing practices.
The Coalition’s comment also cites how Teams has become a dominant collaboration product as result of Microsoft’s tying practices, despite users uniformly rating Teams below its competitors in virtually every major category – including usability, reliability and functionality.
About the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing
The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing is a North American-based initiative seeking to unlock greater customer choice, innovation, and security in the cloud by advocating for the Principles of Fair Software Licensing. Our members span a cross-section of key industries, including healthcare companies, financial services businesses, as well as cloud and cybersecurity providers – each one has experienced or been exposed to anticompetitive and abusive software licensing practices in the cloud. Together, we are taking a stand against these predatory practices by advocating for the Principles of Fair Software Licensing to ensure more choice, innovation, and security in the cloud. To learn more about the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing, please visit FairSoftwareLicensing.com.