Claim centres on its anti-virus being disabled by Windows 10 upgrade.
The Russian security software maker Kaspersky Labs, has filed antitrust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission, the German federal cartel office, and the Russian anti-monopoly office.
Kaspersky claims that Microsoft is exploiting its dominant market share with Windows to push its own anti-virus software over competitor products, using its “position in the computer operating system (OS) market to fiercely promote its own – inferior – security software (Windows Defender) at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution,” said Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s founder in a statement. “These actions by Microsoft lead to a lower level of protection for users, a limitation on their right to choose, and financial losses both for users and security solution manufacturers.”
As part of the complaint, Kaspersky Labs also alleges that Microsoft intentionally does not provide enough time for third party security vendors to fully test its Windows 10 upgrades before releasing them to the public.
Windows Defender, the anti-virus software installed in Windows 10 by default has made vast improvements in recent years, but still scores poorly against independent anti-malware options such as Kaspersky. Microsoft’s main defense is that Defender protects Windows users who do not choose their own security software, a move that Kaspersky claims is anti-competitive.
“With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft started to create obstacles to competing manufacturers of security solutions, and introduce different ways of pushing users to forgo third-party software in favor of its own Windows Defender,” Kaspersky Labs also said in their statement.
Windows 10 compliant?
Microsoft believes Windows 10 complies with competition laws. “Microsoft’s primary objective is to keep customers protected,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “We are confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws. And we will answer any questions regulators may have.”
Been here before
Kaspersky’s complaint is not new, and the anti-trust complaint comes after the two companies have seemingly failed to resolve their differences over several months. Microsoft has also claimed that the Washington based tech giant had “taken a number of steps” to listen to and address the security company’s concerns; including offering a meeting between executives of both companies. “That meeting has not yet taken place,” Microsoft said.
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