UK Competition and Markets Authority greenlights cybersecurity merger to fend off Microsoft

A proposed $8.1 billion merger between California-based security solutions provider NortonLifeLock and the Czech Republic’s Avast Antivirus has been provisionally approved by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

After gathering further information from affected companies and other industry players, we are currently confident that this agreement will not worsen the options available to consumers. As such, we have tentatively concluded that the deal can go forward.

The year-long merger was the subject of an anti-competitive investigation triggered by CMA, noting that there were “few other significant rivals” at the time the two companies proposed the merger.

However, it would appear that over the past year, the CMA has not only concluded its investigation without particular concern, but notes that Microsoft is in a “unique position in the market” as it offers its own antivirus solutions freely. accessible with Windows.

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What is now known as Microsoft Defender started out as optional downloadable software called Windows Defender in Windows Vista and Windows 7 days.

Windows Defender, at the time, often lacked the latest security solutions and led to the growth of third-party alternatives such as Norton, Kaspersky, Avast, and McAfee to protect operating systems from malware.

Since the release of Windows 8 and later operating systems, Windows Defender has become Microsoft Defender and has maintained a relatively large library of known malware infections, which has made the now bundled software an easy and free solution for many many Windows users over the years.

Microsoft has since expanded Microsoft Defender to encompass protections for cloud computing, mobile computing, and servers.

The evolution of Microsoft Defender has given the CMA a worthy contender as it prepares to receive feedback on its tentative merger approval by the end of the month before submitting a final report at most. late September 8, 2022.

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