Kaspersky Labs withdraws antitrust complaint against Microsoft

While the amicable solution will give Kaspersky more elbow room in the hotly competitive antivirus market, the detente comes midst a slew of allegations that it is vulnerable to influence from the Russian government.

Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab has disclosed it will be withdrawing its antitrust complaints against Microsoft after the U.S. software giant agreed to change how it delivers its security updates to Windows users.

Earlier Kaspersky had alleged that Microsoft was conducting unfair trade practices in its software security approach that raised hurdles for vendors of independent security solutions on its Windows 10 operating system. It had accused Microsoft of abusing its dominance in the personal computer market to unfairly harm third-party antivirus providers.

At that time, Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab’s founder had stated that Microsoft had removed Kaspersky’s antivirus software when customers installed Windows 10 in order to force users to adopt its Defender suit, which it described as an “inferior” product.

Microsoft had denied breaking any laws and had commented that its goal was to help protect its Windows 10 consumers from cyber security threats.

On Wednesday, Microsoft’s comments in a blog post resolved the dispute when it said it would work more closely with antivirus vendors before it launches software updates to help mitigate compatibility issues.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said it will also now allow antivirus companies to issue their own security alerts and notifications to customers before and after the expiry of subscriptions.

It will also provide vendors more visibility and certainty around its update release schedules.

In its statement, Kaspersky stated Microsoft’s proposed approach had addressed its main concerns while adding it was “taking all steps necessary” to withdraw its antitrust complaints lodged with the European Commission and Germany’s national competition regulator.

It also stated, in recent months, both companies has had “fruitful discussions” regarding how “antivirus services should operate in the Windows ecosystem to help ensure a safe environment for Windows users.”

The amicable solutions comes midst Kaspersky facing mounting accusations from U.S. intelligence officials and lawmakers that it may be vulnerable to Russian government influence, a charge that it has repeatedly denied.

It has stated that it does not have any ties to any government or that it has helped any government conduct cyber espionage.


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