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Group of companies complains to the European Commission for integration of OneDrive and Teams in Windows 10 and 11

A group of companies known as Coalition for a level playing field (Coalition for a level playing field), led by open source cloud company Nextcloud, has submitted a complain formal before the European Commission about him Microsoft’s anti-competitive behavior for integrating your oneDrive cloud, Teams and other services into Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Nextcloud, in particular, points out that by pushing consumers to connect and give their data to Microsoft, the company is limiting the choice of consumers, and creating an unfair barrier for other companies that offer services that compete with them. Specifically, it is pointed out that Microsoft has increased its market share in the EU to 66%, while the market share of suppliers fell from 26% to 16%.

Microsoft has done this, according to the complaint, not through a technical advantage or profit per sale, but by strongly favoring its products and services, giving them self-preference over other services. Although this type of preference is not in itself illegal under the competition laws of the European Union, if a company abuses its dominant market position, it may violate the law.

Nextcloud claims that Microsoft has blocked other cloud service providers from taking advantage of their position to extend their reach in neighboring markets, pushing users more strongly into their ecosystems. For this reason, other more specialized companies in the European Union cannot compete on the basis of merit, since the key to success is not a good product, but the ability to distort competition and block market access.

According to him CEO and Founder of Nextcloud Frank Karlitschek, «This is quite similar to what Microsoft did when it killed the competition in the browser market, halting almost all browser innovations for more than a decade. Copy the product of innovators, integrate it with your own dominant product and kill their business and then stop innovating. This kind of behavior is bad for the consumer, for the market and of course for local EU businesses. Together with other members of the coalition, we call on the antitrust authorities in Europe to reinforce a level playing field, giving customers a free choice, and giving the competition a fair chance.«.

Slack has also filed a complaint with Microsoft for a monopoly in the EU on the integration of Teams with Office. Meanwhile, Nextcloud asks the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission to prevent this type of abusive behavior and to keep the market competitive and fair for all players. In addition, Nextcloud has filed another petition with the German antitrust authorities, the Bundeskartellamt, for Microsoft to be investigated, and is in negotiations with its partners to file a similar complaint in France.

Nextcloud is not alone in its legal action against Microsoft. He is supported by various companies including Mailfence, open source software developer Abilian, and open source identity management company DAASI. In addition, there are several NGOs and organizations related to open source that have joined Nextcloud in their complaints, such as the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, the Documento Foundation, the organization that supports LibreOffice and the European branch of the Free Software Foundation, the FSFE.

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