It is widely known that back in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic got serious, the UK National Health Service (NHS) was offered a free license for Microsoft Teams.
At the time, no one really attached much importance to this, as it was considered a goodwill gesture that would provide better communication for NHS staff.
However, according to the Daily Mail , Microsoft is now facing some major challenges as UK government business secretary Kwasi Quarteng investigates the situation.
The allegations are that Microsoft used the free Teams license only to gain an edge over the competition.
UK Government Investigates Microsoft For NHS Gift
As if that weren’t enough, the tech giant is already under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority in connection with its plan to acquire Nuance.
This £ 12bn voice recognition platform is also, coincidentally, widely used across the NHS, raising even more questions.
The available evidence could actually lead Microsoft to face an antitrust investigation where it is screened for possible abuse of its leadership position.
In addition, Redmond officials will have to provide accurate answers to questions about whether Teams itself is suitable and secure enough for use in such a critical institution.
As a reminder, Teams are currently estimated to be employed by millions of NHS employees, saving the organization millions of pounds a year.
The UK investigation follows other hardships for Microsoft, including an ongoing EU investigation initiated by chat rival Slack.
As a reminder, Slack accused the tech giant of taking an unfair advantage for being included for users as part of the broader Office software suite.
The exact implications that Microsoft will face when all of this is said and done remains to be seen. We will follow the development of events.
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