Eurobites: EU chides Microsoft over Teams software stitch-up

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: ETNO gets back on its high horse; fiber-to-the-Balkans; Tele2 tops green rankings in Sweden.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

June 26, 2024

2 Min Read
EU flags in front of EU headquarters
(Source: JLBvdWOLF/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • The European Commission is unhappy with the way Microsoft is effectively foisting its Teams collaboration/messaging product onto customers by tying it to its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 software suites, a strategy which the Commission believes is unfair to its rivals and bad for competition in the sector. In particular, the Commission is concerned that Microsoft may have offered Teams what it calls a "distribution advantage" by not giving customers a real choice of whether or not to gain access to Teams when they subscribe to their software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. Currently the Commission's investigation into the matter – initially prompted by a complaint from rival messaging platform Slack – is still at the Statement of Objections stage, but if it concludes that there is sufficient evidence of an infringement, it could fine Microsoft of up to 10% of its annual worldwide turnover.

  • In other Brussels-related business, telecom lobby group ETNO has responded to a Commission consultation on Europe's future network infrastructure needs with a familiar call for a review of the bloc's regulatory framework, less fragmentation and a more level playing field when it comes to the treatment of telcos versus the online technology giants whose content rides on the telcos' networks. "The next 12 months are vital to set the stage for improving Europe's connectivity, as our digital infrastructures are meant to benefit European citizens and businesses," thunders ETNO. "Europe cannot wait to bridge its investment and innovation gap."

  • FTTH Council Europe has launched a new event focusing on the fiber-to-the-home market in southeast Europe. Called FTTH Congress Balkans, the gathering runs from October 29-30 at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Confirmed speakers include A1's Dejan Turk and T-Hrvatski Telekom's Iva Cibulić Blažević.

  • Tele2 has been named Sweden's most sustainable company by Time Magazine and Statista. Globally, Tele2 came in a respectable number 37 on the list.

  • Nokia says it has completed the first tranche of its work on the 5G network of Colombian operator Claro, supplying basestations, massive MIMO antennas and remote radio head products. Ultimately, the project will provide 5G coverage in 20 Colombian cities.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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