Microsoft bundles its own cloud storage service, OneDrive, and online meeting tool, Microsoft Teams, with Windows. However, the EU Business Association has complained to the EC, saying the move is anti-competitive.
Several companies based in Europe, including NextCloud, formed a coalition and opened a site (Coalitionfor a Level Playing Field) to formally complain about Microsoft’s anti-competitive behavior. NextCloud, which leads a coalition of businesses, is trying to limit user choice by bundling Microsoft’s services with Windows 10 and 11 and urging users to sign up for a Microsoft account, creating an unfair barrier to other companies offering competing services. claiming to do so.
Specifically, Microsoft is increasing its market share in the EU to 66%, while EU service providers have reduced their market share from 26% to 16%. The Federation of Businesses argues that Microsoft’s realization of this market share expansion is not due to its technical or sales advantages, but because it is bundling its services with Windows. It is not illegal under EU competition law for Microsoft to prioritize its services over competing services in Windows. However, it can be against the law for a company to abuse its position in a dominant market. The Federation of Businesses argues that Microsoft’s actions are part of this.
NextCloud points out that Microsoft is abusing its gatekeeper position to expand market reach and push users deeper into the ecosystem, completely blocking other cloud service providers. The key is becoming not a good product, but the ability to distort competition and block access to the market, and the more specialized EU companies will not be able to compete on their own merits.
Frank Karlitschek, CEO of NextCloud, said that Microsoft’s behavior is similar to when it beat its competitors in the browser market, and as a result almost all browser advances over a decade or more have stopped. said it was bad.
Various organizations (European DIGITAL SME Alliance, The Document Foundation, Free Software Foundation Europe) are participating in the Enterprise Alliance.
NextCloud has not only filed a complaint with the EC Competitor, but is also asking the German antitrust authority, the Bundeskartellamt, to investigate Microsoft. Moreover, the alliance partners are said to be preparing to file a similar complaint in France.
Meanwhile, Slack is also arguing that Microsoft’s integration with Teams and Office violates antitrust laws on the EU side. Related information can be found here.