Microsoft Squeezes Out Third-Party Anti-Virus Products, Complaints Claim
Russian anti-virus vendor Kaspersky Lab has filed two antitrust complaints against Microsoft in Europe, contending that the company has engineered Windows 10 to favor its preinstalled malware-fighting program, Windows Defender.
The complaints have been filed with the European Commission and Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky writes in a blog.
“We want Microsoft to stop misleading and misinforming our – and not only our – users,” Kaspersky writes. “We want to see all security solutions being able to work on the Windows platform on a level playing field.”
Kaspersky alleges that Microsoft has sought to disadvantage third-party anti-virus programs over its own Windows Defender, which ships preinstalled with Windows. Kaspersky cites several behaviors within Windows that he contends are aimed at nudging users away from competing anti-virus products.
Microsoft, however, has dismissed the allegations. In a statement, the company says it is “confident that the security features of Windows 10 comply with competition laws.” Microsoft also says it proposed executive-level meetings with Kaspersky a number of months ago, but the meeting “has not yet taken place.”
The company adds: “We’re always interested in feedback from other companies, and we engage deeply with anti-malware vendors and have taken a number of steps to address their feedback.”
The moves in Europe follow Kaspersky Lab in November 2016 filing a complaint against Microsoft with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service. Microsoft fixed some issues that Kaspersky had complained about without waiting for the FAS to act, Kaspersky writes.