Slack warns investors of broad “retaliation” from Microsoft amid antitrust legal battle

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Perhaps, in an effort to sow the legal landscape with a crop of anti-competitive rhetoric, Slack recently warned its investors that Microsoft could act in a “retaliatory” manner soon.

As vague as the threat sounds, Slack stuffed the warning into its latest 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as part of its fiduciary responsibilities when reporting its latest quarterly earnings.

On Tuesday, Slack underscored a potentially bumpy road ahead for investors as the company’s recent antitrust complaint to the European Commission against Microsoft might result in earnings-effected retaliation from the Redmond-based company.

Furthermore, we could be subject to retaliatory or other adverse measures by Microsoft, its employees, or agents in response to the complaint that we filed with the European Commission.

Despite the dire admonition, Slack has yet to clarify what retaliatory actions Microsoft could enact that would result in a direct adverse result for the company.

In another seemingly obfuscating move, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield explained to investors openly that the market was just too big at the moment to be worried about any significant pressure from Microsoft.

Win rates are the same. We are now in Quarter 14 of competing with Microsoft. We’ve won over and over again in Office 365-using customers. … No doubt that it causes some friction, it’s another thing for us to overcome, but it doesn’t put any kind of ceiling or limiter on our growth.

Meanwhile, the company buried another nugget of fearmonger rhetoric regarding Microsoft’s continued growth in its 10-Q stating, “This competition has intensified in recent periods and we believe that it has harmed, and may continue to harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.”

Even as Slack’s earnings report beat analysts’ predictions with revenue up to $215.9 million for the quarter, the company continues to view Microsoft’s ability to leverage its enterprise suite to grow its enterprise chat solution as illegal.

While Slack’s eye has been largely on Microsoft, the company’s after-hour trading was affected by dark-horse newcomer Zoom and its crazy ridiculous growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft has not publically addressed Slack’s claims over the past few months and continues to make inroads with customer adoption for Teams at the moment.

As it stands, Slack and Microsoft’s Office 365 continue to work interoperably and should maintain for the time being, especially as the European Commission scrutinizes Microsoft’s every Teams related move for the foreseeable future.