30 companies sue Microsoft in the European Union for integrating Teams and OneDrive in Windows 10 and 11

At the end of the 90s Microsoft got into a big problem integrating Internet Explorer into its operating system. That sparked a legal battle that resulted in various fines due to the anti-competitive behavior of the Redmond company.

Now history could repeat itself: several companies, led by Nextcloud, have sued Microsoft in the European Union. The reason is very similar, and they accuse Microsoft of anti-competitive practices by integrating platforms such as Teams or OneDrive as standard both in Windows 10 and especially in Windows 11.

The old story repeats itself

The so-called “Coalition for a Level Playing Field” joins Nextcloud – a well-known Open Source platform that competes with OneDrive – and almost 30 other companies in a complaint that states that with these integrations Microsoft limits the user’s ability to choose and creates unfair barriers for other companies to compete.

According to this coalition, Microsoft is making use of that self-preference of its services over others that compete with them , something that is not illegal ‘per se’ under European legislation ( PDF ), but that can make a company abuse its dominant position and therefore commits a crime.

These techniques have allowed that according to Nextcloud and its allies Microsoft has achieved its market share in the EU markets to grow to 66%, while local providers have fallen from 26% to 16% of share.

For Frank Karlitschek, founder and CEO of Nextcloud, “this is very similar to what Microsoft did when it killed the competition in the browser market, stopping virtually any innovation in the browser for more than a decade.”Responsible for Slack already had sued prior to Microsoft in the European Union to integrate with Office Teams -the case is underway, in fact. The lawsuit by Nexcloud and the rest of the coalition companies – with The Document Foundation, European DIGITAL SME Alliance or the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) among them) now join this formal protest .

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