The EU recently passed several pieces of legislation that look to limit to the power of Big Tech, and we recently reported on an investigation into Microsoft possibly violating some of the EU’s antitrust laws. Now, Apple is also in the crosshairs, with Brussels targeting the company over their iMessage app, as well as Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
The recent legislation looks to make a complete overhaul on how popular tech companies do business by requiring them to make sure their products are compatible with the apps of their rivals, as well as requiring them to exponentially increase their transparency. Ars Technica reports that if Apple and Microsoft’s targeted products are found to be covered under the new legislation, then iMessage and Bing would be required to link to alternative apps. Both companies reportedly have argued that these two products should not be beholden to the legislation because they are simply not popular enough, with Microsoft saying that Bing only has a market share of 3 percent, and Apple arguing that iMessage does not have the number of active users required to make it eligible for these requirements.
The following was originally published July 31, 2023:
An investigation has been opened by the European Union into whether Microsoft’s bundling of Teams with Office 365 violates the EU’s antitrust laws.
As reported by Ars Technica, multiple sources connected to the probe say that several of Microsoft’s rivals complained that the “group’s concessions to stop tying in Teams with its Office 365 software in Europe were insufficient for fair competition.” Additionally, two sources close to the matter are reported as stating that formal charges may be made against the company as early as the upcoming fall.
“We respect the European Commission’s work on this case and take our own responsibilities very seriously,” Microsoft stated in response to the probe. “We will continue to cooperate with the commission and remain committed to finding solutions that will address its concerns.”
However, a spokesperson for the European Commission stated, “We have not received any commitment by Microsoft that would resolve our concerns. It is too early to discuss a remedy to potential abuse.”
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has found its self in the European Commission’s crosshairs, with Reuters reporting that the company has been fined a total of 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) for EU antitrust breaches in the last decade alone.